Volleyball playoffs served up in city

Dover Bay Secondary School hosts the AAAA North Island championships starting today (Nov. 10).

High school girls’ volleyball players really dig playoff time, and it’s here.

Dover Bay Secondary School hosts the AAAA North Island championships starting today (Nov. 10) and the rest of Nanaimo’s senior girls’ v-ball teams will be embroiled in playoff action at out-of-town tournaments.

The Dover Bay Dolphins girls have dealt with adversity to reach this point in the season, as injuries have tested their depth. They’ve met the challenge and now go into North Islands as favourites ahead of teams like Carihi, Frances Kelsey and G.P. Vanier.

“We’ve been the top-ranked team on the Island all year, so it’s just a matter of us playing well,” said Dave Nelson, the team’s coach.

A winning result this weekend would give the Dolphins a more favourable path through the more challenging Island championships the following weekend.

“You always want to give yourself the best shot,” Nelson said. “It definitely sets up better if you can place well.”

Dover’s first game today is at 4 p.m. against Cowichan. The Dolphins also play at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. today, then take the court at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Another local team with a great shot at a North Island crown is the single-A Cedar Spartans, who take the court at Campbell River.

“[The players] are just as skilled as they were last year and we’ve been working hard,” said Bill Rounis, the team’s coach. “We’ve gone through some bumps along the way where we’ve had to make adjustments but I think we’re starting to peak at the right time.”

He considers Duncan Christian as Cedar’s primary competition both at North Islands this weekend and at Islands the following week.

“They’re a year older and we would be the same way so it’s starting to become a bit of a rivalry,” Rounis said.

NDSS is among the favourites in AAA, with Wellington also in the mix, and Barsby and Woodlands will aim to get through AA North Islands.