The Elphinstone junior girls capped their volleyball season with an 11th place finish at the provincial championships last week in South Delta.
The competition was strong, with the top 24 teams from around the province on hand. The teams were placed into six pools of four for the round robin portion of the tournament. Elphi finished second in its pool with wins over South Delta and Earl Marriott and a loss to Cedar.
Coach David Barnum said Elphi was in probably the toughest pool in the tournament.
“We played some very strong teams in the round robin, so to come second in the pool was very good for us,” he said. “You really get to see the difference in the level of play from league and the zone playoffs. You have to really be able to step up your game.”
In the first round of the playoffs, Elphi lost a tough three-set match to Duchess Park, that finished second in their pool. With the loss, the Cougars dropped down to the consolation side of the playoff draw, where they lost their next match in two sets to Hatzic. That loss placed them in the 11th/12th place game where they played Oak Bay and battled in three sets for the win.
“Overall I was happy with how the team finished,” Barnum said. “This is a big event with lots of activity going on. You have the opening ceremonies, the opening players’ banquet and when you get to the games, the gyms are an exciting, noisy place. It takes a lot to get used to, but I think the girls had a really good team experience.”
He said at times during the season the team did play better than they did at the provincials, but an 11th place finish is nothing to hang their heads over.
“A few areas here and there make the difference in a tournament such as this,” he said. “Any of the 12 top teams can have a great day or an off day and at times, we were just a bit off. But I’m very proud of the whole team, the school, the PAC and all the parents — everyone was very supportive and we wrapped up the season on a positive note.”