A hard rain on Saturday didn’t stop spectators or competition at the first Coastal Cup, a Grade 8 girls exhibition volleyball tournament held for teams on the Upper and Lower Sunshine Coast.
Three teams from Elphinstone Secondary – Midnight, Platinum and Gold – competed against Chatelech Secondary, Pender Harbour Secondary and Brooks Secondary from Powell River.
Elphinstone Midnight took home the trophy with a two-sets-to-one win over Brooks Secondary. In third was Elphinstone Gold.
“I’ve got to hand it to Brooks Secondary, they were just all out the whole tournament. I was glad they could make it and I was even happier that they are actually a really competitive team,” said Andrew Appleton, Elphinstone Secondary coach and tournament organizer.
Appleton planned the tournament to provide his team with an opportunity to play at home, something he said the team missed out on this season because few teams from the North Shore league in which they play are able to travel to the Sunshine Coast.
While Coast players get to travel for free from the Coast to the Lower Mainland, players on Lower Mainland teams don’t get the same travel discount.
Appleton said “a steady flow of people” came throughout the day to spectate. The tournament’s consolation game and final was broadcast live on Eastlink Community TV. “The crowd was amazing – they cheered their hearts out. I’m sure everyone’s going to have sore throats tomorrow,” Appleton said.
Appleton called the event a success and plans to organize the tournament again next year. The tournament raised $300 for KidSport Sunshine Coast as well as a donation of non-perishable goods for the food bank.
Jessica Johnson, coach of Brooks Secondary, said her team enjoyed the opportunity to compete in a Coast tournament. “It was exciting, it was lots of fun for us.” She said the team was a “little sleepy” from a 5 a.m. wakeup to make the ferry to the Lower Sunshine Coast but that their appearance in the finals gave them “the chance to redeem themselves by the afternoon.” The Powell River team travels every week to Vancouver Island for their league games. They also get vouchers, but have to pay for riders and cars.