The Handsworth Royals will reign as provincial champions in senior AAAA girls’ volleyball.
The North Vancouver team won the top-tier tournament Saturday night in Nanaimo, defeating Surrey’s Earl Marriott Mariners in straight sets in the final at Vancouver Island University.
“It was probably one of the best feelings, knowing that all my teammates and I had worked so hard for it,” said Nicola Ros, tournament MVP. “Our last game ended the way that we deserved it to and it was just a really great experience overall.”
Maya Bennett, Royals captain, said her team played “super, super well” in the final. She said the squad knew at the start of the season it was capable of this sort of finish.
“And I’m so happy we got there…” she said. “We’ve been playing together for so long, we’ve got each others’ backs, we know each other inside and out. There’s nobody else I’d rather win with.”
The Riverside Rapids of Port Coquitlam beat Victoria’s Oak Bay Bays in the bronze-medal match. The host Dover Bay Dolphins placed sixth.
“I think we had a really good weekend,” said Dave Nelson, Dolphins coach. “We were really strong when we needed to be.”
Dover wore their vintage teal jerseys for their final match against Lord Tweedsmuir and in the final moments of the last set, all Dover Bay’s Grade 12s were subbed off and presented with flowers as they left the court.
“It’s just to make sure we honour what they’ve accomplished and what they’ve done for the program,” Nelson said.
He said his coaching staff worked hard, he’s thankful to parents and he’s proud of his team.
“They’re fantastic young women and whatever they choose to do, they’re going to go on and be successful,” he said.
The coach said he’s glad they got to finish their season with a home gym packed with school spirit and the whole experience of provincials in their hometown.
“The extracurricular stuff that schools do is so important, and it’s stuff like this that pays off,” he said.
Dover’s Sam Chwelos was selected as a second-team all-star.
— Greg Sakaki (@BulletinSports) December 6, 2015