The Duncan Christian School Chargers lived up to their billing at the provincial single-A boys volleyball championships.
The Chargers were ranked 10th in B.C. going into the tournament in Abbotsford last week, and that’s precisely where they ended up.
The Duncan boys had a tough schedule from the start, as they opened the tournament on Thursday against the host and top-ranked team Abbotsford Christian. The Chargers played two hard-fought games against the Knights, but ended up falling 25-18, 25-19.
“We played on centre court in front of 600 students and fans,” coach Jim Brandsma recalled. “Abbotsford won last year and were heavy favourites to win again. The boys played really well amidst all the fanfare.”
The scores were similar in the Chargers’ next match, against Kelowna Christian: 25-18, 25-18. They closed out the first day of competition with a close match against Centennial Christian, losing 25-21, 25-21.
The Chargers continued their strong play on Friday with another tight battle, this time against Fernie Secondary, falling 25-23, 25-21.
“Again the difference was a few more errors on our part,” Brandsma said.
The Chargers finally collected its first win of the tournament in their final game, beating Carver Christian 25-18, 25-17.
“This was really good game in respect to keeping errors to a minimum and guys playing 100 per cent and leaving skin on the floor,” Brandsma summarized.
DCS opened the playoffs with a 27-25, 25-11 win over Cedars Christian, then faced Bulkley Valley Christian for ninth place, falling 25-21, 24-26, 15-12.
When the dust settled at the end of the tournament, the top three teams all came out of the Chargers’ pool: Centennial in first, Abbotsford in second and Kelowna in third. Fernie finished sixth.
“We had the top three teams in our round-robin pool,” Brandsma said. “[We had] moments of brilliance and moments of collapse, but always looking forward and trying to impress upon the boys how good they really are. No team beat us because they were so incredibly more talented than us; we just made a few more mistakes. We lost all our games on average of about four points. So it just goes to show how close in skill all the teams were.”
Adam Kapteyn was named to the tournament all-star team.
For the Chargers, the 2015 provincial championships are hopefully just a step toward their ultimate goal next season.
“We have been talking with this group of boys since three of them were in Grade 6 or 7 about provincials in 2016,” Brandsma said. “Our goal is to finish top four, and a championship would be great. However, the ultimate goal always is teaching life lessons, that nothing great comes with out hard work.”