Mariners Volleyball Club player Emily Winter makes a kill during the U16 Island club championship final against the Victoria Volleyball Club on Sunday at the John Barsby Secondary School gym. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo’s U16 girls win Island volleyball championship

Mariners Volleyball Club squad beats Victoria in Sunday’s regional final

A Nanaimo team won a Vancouver Island volleyball championship this weekend.

The Mariners Volleyball Club U16 girls are Island champs after they defeated the Victoria Volleyball Club in straight sets, 26-24, 25-20, in Sunday’s final at the John Barsby Secondary School gym.

Coach Terry Palfrey said his team played “really good” volleyball at regionals.

“Overall I would say we’re starting to get a bit more consistent…” he said. “We’re a real ball control-focused team and it really showed in this last tournament.”

The host team had a tough start to the final, falling behind 6-1, but called a timeout and got back on track.

“Once the girls settled down, evened out the energy level and the intensity level, then it was really close to the way it should have been,” Palfrey said.

Mariners captain Jenessa Lange said her team played really well at the tournament, despite some slow starts. Part of that, she said, came from making some recent adjustments.

“There was a lot of getting used to…” said Lange. “We started off really quiet and we built it up and got a lot better.”

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It’s a “great feeling” to be Island champions, Lange said, and the Mariners are already thinking about Volleyball B.C. provincials. Their results at a recent seeding tournament means they’ll have a challenging path at provincials, but Palfrey said the team still hopes to win it all.

“We’re excited. We’re hoping that we’re going to do well and we should…” Lange said. “When we’re good, we’re really, really good.”

Also at the club volleyball Island championships this past weekend, the Mariners U18 girls placed second and the U17 girls placed third. Two different Mariners entries in the U14 division placed second and third and a U13 squad took third. In boys’ play, the Mariners U14s finished third.

GAME ON … U17-18 provincials will be April 20-22 in Richmond, U15-16 provincials will be April 27-29 in Abbotsford and U12-14 provincials will be May 4-6 in Abbotsford.

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