There will be a spike in interest in volleyball as provincials are held this week in Nanaimo.
The Dover Bay Dolphins are the host team for this year’s senior AAAA girls’ B.C. championships.
Dover goes in with the No. 5 seed after finishing as runners-up to the Oak Bay Bays in the Island finals earlier this month in Victoria.
“I think we’re playing pretty well right now,” said Maddie McDonald, one of Dover’s team captains. “There’s stuff we can work on and we’re hoping we can get through that this week before provincials.”
Rose Plensky, another team captain, said her squad has been working in practice to maintain intensity so it can stay at a high level of play going into the big tournament.
The tourney will involve 16 teams representing zones across B.C., and the matches will be held both at Dover Bay Secondary School and at the Vancouver Island University gym. The competition should be fierce.
“Provincials is obviously the top teams from all over B.C., so we’re going to have to fight hard every game,” McDonald said. “You can’t let up at all.”
Dover will need to play with high energy, said Plensky, communicate well on the court and be solid with its serve-receive game. Mostly the Dolphins will try to concentrate on what they can do on their side of the court, since many of the opposing teams will be unfamiliar.
“It’s almost better, because then we just get to focus on our game … do what we can,” said Amy Smith, also a team captain.
Provincials on their home court is the perfect way for the Grade 12s to close out high school volleyball.
They’ll get to play in front of friends and family and the whole student body, in fact, since the first couple of matches are during school hours. Still, the home team isn’t necessarily feeling pressure.
“No, I think it’s just more exciting,” McDonald said.
Plensky, a graduating player, said she’s “really excited for it. This is it, so it’s really nice to have that home-court advantage finishing off the season.”
Dover Bay begins play today (Dec. 3) with a match against Mt. Boucherie at 11:35 a.m. Dover then faces Churchill at 2:15 p.m. and then Riverside at 4:55 p.m. at the Dover Bay Secondary School gym. Friday’s schedule will depend on Thursday’s results. The provincial final will be Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Vancouver Island University gym. For a full schedule, please visit http://girlsaaaaprovincials2015.doverbay.ca.
Woodlands girls out to compete
A “dynamic” Wood-lands Eagles girls’ volleyball teams ever will be looking for dynamite results at provincials.
The Eagles are in Kelowna for senior AA girls’ provincial championships. Woodlands does a lot of things well on the court.
“Our team, as far as movement patterns and positioning defence, it’s probably one of the strongest we’ve had,” said Ryan Orton, Eagles coach. “The benefit to that is yeah, we keep balls in play, we extend rallies and we have good defence and control, but [we also have] girls who can get kills … and finish rallies.”
He said his team has been steady all year and is prepared, having faced almost all the province’s best AA teams. A number of Eagles players also have the experience of competing at provincials in 2014.
“Last year was a new experience and this year, I’m looking at my team to do more,” Orton said. “To compete for it, not just be happy to be there.”
Other local teams competing at volleyball provincials this week are the Woodlands AA boys and the Dover Bay Dolphins AAA boys, Island champions. Both those tournaments got underway on Wednesday in Langley.