Sunshine Coast Volleyball Club U13s represented the Coast well on the weekend, finishing seventh at the provincial volleyball championships.
After a strong season of competition, the girls were seeded eighth out of the 40 teams entered in the tournament.
Under the experienced guidance of head coach Jan Richey, the players finished second in pool play on Saturday, putting them into the top 12 for playoffs.
Their first playoff game found them up against a strong BCO team from the North Shore. Infused with determination and positive energy, the team asserted themselves as a force, taking the match in two sets and moving confidently into the top eight teams to playoff on Sunday.
Sunday morning brought the team face to face with the number two seeded Victoria Titans. This match will be remembered as the match of the tournament, as these two teams, spurred on by coaches, teammates and spectators, battled for three sets. Sunshine Coast, led by the strong middle play of Taylor Whittall and Iris Smallwood, were a unit of strength. Talia Sweet and Flo Anderson never faltered as they set up their middles and pushed outside to powers Sophie Enevoldson and Goldney Hourigan. Sunshine Coast lost the match by a small margin and left everything they had on the court.
The tournament culminated in a final match that showcased the growth and development of the entire team and coaching staff.
Coach Emily Hoy took the reins and led the players with confidence and pride. Ariana Harder and Maya Lindell racked up points with their strong, consistent serves. Mackenzie Inksater and Georgie Aleong gave a clinic in good defensive positioning. Supported by Teagan Howden’s strong play at the net, the team finished off the tournament with a decisive win.
“This team of girls, simply put, inspires each other and those of us around them,” summed up assistant coach Shannon Whittall.