T-Birds look to build on bronze at home tournament

The Cowichan Thunderbirds battled to a strong third-place showing in the senior girls volleyball tournament last Friday.

The Cowichan Thunderbirds battled to a strong third-place showing in the senior girls volleyball tournament they hosted last Friday, taking on some pretty good teams in the process.

“We were defeated by Ladysmith pretty badly first thing in the morning, but we came back and almost beat them in the rematch,” head coach Cat Parlee said.

The tournament allowed the T-Birds to identify some of the things they need to work on as the playoffs approach.

“Our serving wasn’t as consistent as we would like it to be at this point in the season,” Parlee said. “But our overall play was better.”

One thing the Cowichan players can’t work on is their height, or lack thereof, but they can, and have, found ways to get by with it.

“We are probably one of the shortest teams in our league,” Parlee said. “We really have to fight the height difference. We need to attack the ball aggressively and get points that way.”

Eight of Parlee’s 10 players are in Grade 12 and hoping to finish their high school volleyball careers on a high note.

“They said, ‘It’s the last year for the majority of us, so we want to see how far we can go,’” Parlee said.

One of those Grade 12s is Madison Allen, who was among Cowichan’s top performers last Friday.

“She’s really developing with her serve,” Parlee said. “We love it when she’s up on deck because she can deliver the ball.”

Lindsay Elzinga, one of the team’s younger players, also stood out at the tournament.

“She’s progressing amazingly,” Parlee said. “She covers the court and know her lines. She’s really coming along. She’s one of the few that will be left from this year’s team, and I can’t wait to see what she’s like.”

In their first game after the tournament, against Lake Cowichan this past Tuesday, the T-Birds already showed they had learned some lessons.

“The girls are gelling together better,” Parlee noted. “They were talking more on the court.”

This Friday and Saturday, Cow High will team up with Duncan Christian School to host an even bigger tournament at both their gyms, featuring 15 teams from all over B.C.