Taya Kirk, Jayden Saywell, Ava Johnson and Amanda Merner lift the Vancouver Island championship trophy Saturday in Victoria. The four Grade 12 players on the Nanaimo District Islanders and their teammates are off to senior AAA provincials in Powell River next week. PHOTO SUBMITTED

NDSS Islanders win Island volleyball championship

Nanaimo District defeats Carihi three sets to one in AAA Vancouver Island final in Victoria

The Islanders are Island champions and are off to provincial championships next week.

Nanaimo District Secondary School’s senior girls’ volleyball team won the AAA Vancouver Island championship this past weekend in Victoria, defeating the Carihi Tyees in four sets in the final.

“We had 10 players that were subbing in and out during that match, during those second, third and fourth sets to get that win. They all played excellent,” said Ryan Orton, NDSS coach.

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The Islanders only dropped one set all weekend, sweeping through Friday’s pool play with wins over Timberline, Victoria High and Alberni District. NDSS swept Saturday’s semifinal against Isfeld, setting up the final against Carihi, a rematch of the North Island final which the Tyees had won two sets to none. Orton said his team hadn’t played its best volleyball at North Islands, but in the Island final, executed their strategy against the Tyees and that team’s star player.

“The girls, this time, they were ready to go,” Orton said. “We played one of our best matches of the year to beat them.”

The final included some drama, as the decisive fourth set was pushed to a 28-26 score.

Orton said his team played to its strengths, serving tough and making sure its third contacts were hard hits.

The Island title is special for Nanaimo District’s four Grade 12s and for the whole team, the coach said.

“To have all of the kids be involved and to get that win was a pretty sweet win for all of them,” he said. “They’re still talking about it today.”

Jayden Saywell was chosen MVP. The Island will have three and a half berths at provincial championships, which start Nov. 29 in Powell River.

In other volleyball news, the Nanaimo Christian School Trail Blazers won their Island championship to earn their spot in the provincial championship tournament that they’re hosting next week. Look for more in an upcoming issue of the News Bulletin.



sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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