Parkland building for next season

Senior girls volleyball team is still young and learning says coach

Parkland’s senior girls volleyball team gets together on the court during their opening match of the Island finals on Nov. 16. The local girls would finish 10th in the tournament.

Parkland’s senior girls volleyball team gets together on the court during their opening match of the Island finals on Nov. 16. The local girls would finish 10th in the tournament.

Coach Larry Green says the recent Island finals volleyball championship gave his younger players a taste of the competition at a high level and will allow his squad to continue rebuilding.

Sidney’s Parkland Secondary School hosted the AAA Island senior girls volleyball championship Nov. 16 and 17 in the gym. They placed 10th overall. The local girls opened the tournament Friday against Carihi Secondary of Campbell River, dropping the match 25-12, 25-6.

“It’s a tough tournament,” said Green. “There are four provincially-ranked teams here.”

Those teams — Nanaimo District Secondary School, Ballenas Secondary (Parksville), Timberline (Campbell River) and Carihi — will prove to be the strongest competition in the event, Green added.

For his players, most of whom are in grades 10 and 11 and are still early in their volleyball careers, it’s a big learning curve after a successful season on the south Island region that got them into the event.

“Here, you’re not going to get free points,” Green said.

His expectation going into the tourney was for his girls to do the best they can and learn something in each game. His plan after the opening loss to Carihi, was to assess the team’s performance, fix it, move on and get all of his players on the floor throughout the weekend.

“We are (got) lots of experience here, after we did well to get here.”

Co-coach Kristine Thompson, a teacher at PSS, said this was the first time in 15 years that the Island AAA championship was hosted by Parkland. The girls went 5-5 in their pool, then lost to both Wellington (Nanaimo) and Esquimalt to be eliminated.

Timberline (third), Ballenas (Parksville, second) and NDSS (first) advance to the AAA provincials.

This year’s AAA senior girls volleyball Islands included Parkland (Sidney), Claremont (Saanich), Esquimalt and Frances Kelsey (Mill Bay) from the south and from the north Island: Timberline, Carihi, Mark Isfeld (Courtenay), Ballenas, NDSS and Wellington.