Their season ended without a title, but the future looks bright for Ucluelet Secondary School’s senior volleyball team.
The local co-ed squad placed second at the Single A Island Championship in Duncan on Nov. 9, losing their best-of-five finals matchup against the Duncan Christian Chargers.
USS coach Bryan Grigg said he was thrilled with how well his team held up against the Chargers, who were ranked sixth in the province while USS was not provincially ranked.
“They were all really tight, contested games. Every point was a battle,” he said.
“They never gave up. When the games were tight and on the line, they didn’t crumble. It was a really back and forth rallying type of game. The kids never broke. They definitely put the play to the Chargers.”
The senior team had only one Grade 12 player this season, along with three Grade 11’s and three Grade 10’s who played senior ball because the school did not field a junior team.
Grigg said the group’s core has been playing together for three years and placed fifth as a junior team at last year’s North Island Championships.
“The future looks bright…The skill is only going to increase, the height is only going to increase, the strength, endurance, everything’s only going to increase,” he said.
“What they showed at the end of this year was that they could compete with the best Single-A teams in the province and, I think, the outlook next year is that when we come back to this tournament, we’ll be hopefully successful and transporting ourselves to the provincials.”
The school’s 2017 volleyball season kicks off next September and Grigg hopes enough students come check it out that USS can field both a junior and senior team.
“We’re always looking for more kids. Hopefully next year we’ll have a bunch of juniors who are interested and we can fill the junior team because we want to continue to develop skills,” he said. “Where we were at this year competing with Duncan Christian, we want to be at that level all the time.”