Cowichan rookie middle Tayah Poole puts up a block during a match against Gulf Islands last Friday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Volleyball T-Birds make leaps and bounds at home tourney

Island tournament coming up

The Cowichan Secondary Thunderbirds were looking to improve on their results from the previous weekend as they hosted a senior girls volleyball tournament last Friday and Saturday.

It paid off as they ended up placing fifth out of 10 squads in the most recent tournament after finishing 15th out of 16 the week before.

Head coach Cat Parlee was pleased with the improvement, but felt her team still hadn’t fulfilled its potential.

“They still could have been better,” she said. “We need to work on our blocking more coming up, and for some reason our serving was down — we were hitting more net balls than I would like at this time of the year. However, we are still recovering from some major injuries and illnesses that we can’t rush through the healing process.”

Co-captain and power hitter Jazmine Charles is still working her way back from an emergency appendectomy, Kyle De Leon was sidelined the entire first day of the tournament with allergies and asthma, and still wasn’t at 100 per cent on Saturday, and rookie middle Tricia Brinas has been dealing with a pulled muscle in her leg that made it hard to jump for blocking purposes.

The Island championships are set for Nov. 17 and 18, so the T-Birds don’t have a lot of time to recover completely.

“We would like a few more weeks to get everyone healthy but we don’t have it, unfortunately,” Parlee said. “The girls played much better this weekend, however they could still be more of a cohesive unit. We took fifth place overall, but better yet, they are coming together as a team and are still showing growth, and that is almost more important than our placing.”

Alberni District Secondary beat Frances Kelsey for first place. Rounding out the standings were Lake Cowichan in third, followed by Campbell River Christian, Cowichan, Chemainus, Gulf Islands, Duncan Christian, the Cowichan Secondary juniors (a last-minute fill-in for Queen Margaret’s), and Ucluelet.

All-stars included Kennedy Newman (Kelsey), Kendall Bergstrom (Lake Cowichan), Jazmine Charles (Cowichan), Julia Peterson (Chemainus), and Maya Johnston (Cowichan Secondary junior girls).

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Cowichan Secondary co-captain Corrie Southall (3) lines up a shot during her team’s match against Gulf Islands last Friday, backed up by fellow co-captain Jazmine Charles. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

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