John Barsby senior AA volleyball players compete in tournament play earlier this season. The team was runner-up at Island championships last week in Victoria and will go to provincials next week. NEWS BULLETIN file photos

Volleyball provincials were a ‘longshot’ for Barsby girls, but they made it

John Barsby’s senior AA girls runners-up at Island championships

John Barsby’s senior girls’ volleyball season is extending all the way to provincials.

For the first time in more than 20 years, the Barsby Bulldogs senior girls’ volleyball team will compete at a provincial championship tournament.

The AA squad was runner-up at the Vancouver Island championships in Victoria last weekend, falling three sets to one in the final against Pacific Christian.

Elise Keeping, Barsby coach, said her team hadn’t necessarily set its sights on making it to provincials.

“For us it was a little bit of a longshot, so it was definitely a big win, a big accomplishment,” she said.

Keeping said the team has a lot of Grade 10s but those players were willing to take on important roles.

“It was pretty sweet to see a young team come out and compete against a bunch of Grade 12s – we were playing against Team B.C. players,” she said.

Keeping said Barsby found success with a well-rounded game.

“We’re a really strong serving team, so that helped us a lot, and [we were] just finding ways to finish the ball,” she said. “Just a great effort overall.”

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Camryn Formaniuk and Kenya Huneault were chosen tournament all-stars and Shay Postema and Sydnee Keeping were other key contributors.

Craig LeTourneau, longtime coach and volunteer with Barsby volleyball, said it’s been more than 20 years since the senior girls’ program has made it to provincials and Elise Keeping said people have told her it might be even longer than that.

The coach said players understand their accomplishment is special for the program.

“They’re feeling pretty pumped about it, for sure. A lot of emotion on the court after that,” she said.

Keeping said she doesn’t know much about the competition that will be at AA provincials in Burnaby, but Barsby will continue to practise, work on its mental game and team building and look to enjoy the experience.

“At this point we’re playing to have fun and playing to compete – we’re not playing to really get too upset about losing,” she said.

GAME ON … The senior AA girls’ provincial championships are being hosted by Burnaby’s St. Thomas More starting Thursday, Nov. 29.

RELATED: NDSS Islanders win Island volleyball championship



sports@nanaimobulletin.com

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