High school volleyball teams showed encouraging signs early in the season.
The Vancouver Island University Invitational high school girls’ volleyball tournament saw 29 teams take to the courts on Friday and Saturday in what’s the biggest local tourney on the calendar every year.
The luck of the draw, for better or for worse, matched up the Dover Bay Dolphins and Nanaimo District Islanders early in the playoff round. Dover won and ended up finishing seventh for the best result among Nanaimo teams.
The tournament favourites, the Belmont Bulldogs, won the tourney for a third straight year, defeating North Vancouver’s St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints in the final. The Oak Bay Bays placed third.
The tournament is a fundraiser for Vancouver Island University’s women’s volleyball teams, with players officiating the games. Shane Hyde, tournament director, said he was “totally” impressed with the level of play this weekend.
“There are some very good athletes out there and good teams and that’s one of the [reasons] this tournament is great for us,” he said. “One, as a fundraiser, two, to kind of see what athletes are out there and give them some exposure to VIU. So I think it’s a win-win everywhere.”