After a semifinal scare nearly derailed their championship aspirations, the Little Flower Academy Angels barely gave their opponents a sniff the rest of the way.
The Angels were down 2-0 in Saturday morning’s semifinal against Vernon’s W.L. Seaton Sonics and with their backs against the proverbial wall, LFA came out and delivered six dominant sets, outscoring their foes by a combined 36 points.
“I told them to just calm down and play volleyball. The other team was playing fabulous so if we just stayed patient and played the way we played, nine times out of 10, I expect my team to be able to win,” said coach Ross Ballard. “I told them we have beaten teams 3-0 before, now we just have to do that.”
The team did that both in the semifinal and again in the final a few hours later.
LFA would beat the Sonics 3-2 (15-25,20-25,25-12,25-20,15-8) to advance to the gold medal game later that day, defeating the Carihi Tyees 3-0 (25-22,25-23,25-20) to capture the BC Secondary School Volleyball Provincial 3A Championship at Langley Events Centre.
The title is the third for LFA this decade, alongside victories in both 2012 and 2016. The team also just missed the podium last year, placing fourth overall.
The Tyees won silver for a second consecutive year.
“We kept them off balance with our serve and the biggest thing is we didn’t give them any free points. We sided out, our passing was really good, and we had some solid attacks. Our team is just balanced, we don’t have just one player, we have a lot of players that can make contributions. They are just relentless,” Ballard said of his team’s strategy.
In the bronze medal game, Dawson Creek defeated W.L. Seaton.
LFA’s Elyse Barfoot won Most Valuable Player while Dawson Creek’s Tyler Bondaroff won Most Outstanding Libero.
The First Team All-Stars were Elizabeth Lee (Little Flower Academy), Lucy Borowski (Little Flower Academy), Emoni Bush (Carihi), Aidan Armitage (Dawson Creek), Jamie Nicolls (W.L. Seaton) and Macyn Unger (Duchess Park).
The Second Team All-Stars were Chiara Mezzarobba (Little Flower Academy), Kate Powell (Dawson Creek), Madison Gardner (W.L. Seaton), Rose Howard (Okanagan Mission), Katlyn Bennett (Dawson