It’s title time again at Elphinstone Secondary School.
On Tuesday night, the juvenile girls volleyball team defeated St. Thomas Aquinas 3-1 to win the North Shore league banner.
The squad finished with a 6-2 league record and then rolled to three wins in the playoffs. They defeated West Vancouver 3-0 in the quarterfinal on Oct. 28 and upended Windsor 3-2 in the semifinal on Oct. 30.
Head coach Shannon Whittall had to leave Tuesday’s match in the second set to catch a flight to Calgary for work, leaving the coaching reins to senior girls coach Jan Richey.
“It was a lot of added pressure,” Richey said with a laugh. “If the girls lost and I’m on the bench, it could have been bad, but the girls stayed focused and played really well.”
The Cougars won the first two sets, with STA coming back to win the third. The fourth set was a nail-biter, with Elphi finally pulling it out in the end 25-22.
“These are all club-level girls who have been playing together for the past three years,” Richey said. “I think this is a good, solid group with a lot of talent, super passionate, and it certainly bodes well for the future at Elphi.”
As for Richey’s senior girls, they lost a tough five-set match to Handsworth on Monday night in the premier division semifinal, which dropped the Cougars into the consolation final Wednesday night against STA.
“We had a good battle on Monday and I was really pleased,” Richey said. “We haven’t played Handsworth very well this year, so our goal was to stay with them and play them and the result will be whatever. I was pleasantly surprised that we went to five sets with them.”
If Elphi beats STA, they would finish third in the North Shore, a huge accomplishment considering the top two teams are all quad-A schools and Elphi is double A. The Cougars are the number one double A team heading into the Vancouver and District playdowns next Wednesday and Thursday. The top teams from that tournament will advance to the provincials.
In division one senior girls, Chatelech finished regular season play on Monday, Oct. 28, with a two-match sweep of Seycove, winning both matches 3-1 to finish with a record of 6-4. The Eagles won six of their last eight league matches after starting the season 0-2.
The Eagles played Mulgrave on Tuesday in the division semifinal, where Chatelech dropped a close 3-2 match to end their season.