United, USS Warriors move up volleyball ranks

On Wed. Nov 19, the Senior Boy’s Volleyball traveled to compete in the Single A Provincial Championships hosted by Abbotsford Christian School. For the majority of the players, this was their second trip to the Provincials, after last year’s inaugural showing

The Warriors started their tournament against number one tournament seed, the Abbotsford Christian Knights. Both teams were tentative from the onset, with the Warriors settling first, finding their stride and taking an early 5 point lead. With the strong serve reception and net play the Warriors took the first match 25-21. In the second game, the Knights came out swinging. The Warriors defense dug numerous spikes, but lost the second game and eventually the third. Dropping the match in three sets. In their third and final match on Thursday, the boys played against Carver Christian School out of the Lower Mainland. The boys took the play to Carver, running an effective middle offense, anchored by strong passing and serve receive. The Warriors took the match in straight sets, 25-21, 25-22. With the win, the Warriors built confidence and proved to themselves they belonged in the tourney.

The Warriors started their second day with a match against number 4 seeded Cedars Christian School. With their renewed confidence, the Warriors came out swinging. Strong defensive play at net shutdown Cedar’s offense, with numerous blocks recorded and strong defensive positioning leading to spikes being dug for second chance points. Strong passing and defensive positioning allowed the Warriors to run effective outside hitting with middle options. The Warriors won the match in straight sets, finishing fourth in their pool and clinching a championship playoff round appearance.

Late Friday afternoon, the Warriors entered the Championship Playoff Round against the number two tournament seed, Credo Christian School. With strong net play by Middles Reid Appenheimer and Aubry Ludlow, the Warriors took play to Credo. Eventually, the depth of the Credo squad prove too much, wining the best of five in three straight sets. Knocking the Warriors out of the championship round.

The Warriors played two more matches in the Consolation Round on Saturday, finishing the tournament in eighth position overall, besting their initial seeding of twelfth and last year’s performance of twelfth in the province.

One common thread throughout the entire tournament, was the character and competitive attitude the Warriors brought to each match. With only 6 players, the Warriors competed with every squad, keeping all the games close. During multiple matches, opposing teams and fans would sit behind the Warrior’s bench, cheering on and offering words of encouragement. While talking with tournament officials and coaches, it was expressed to Coach Bryan Grigg, the respect these individuals had for the level of character demonstrated by the USS boys. The recognition culminated with the Warriors winning the Most Sportsman Like award at the tournament closing ceremonies.

Bryan Grigg coaches the Ucluelet Warriors.