The Phil & Jennie Gaglardi Academy boys had a historic experience over the weekend, as they were the school’s first-ever team to qualify for the provincial volleyball championships.
And while the Arrows didn’t come home with the banner, they did achieve more milestones for the school.
The Arrows had a strong showing, particularly in preliminary pool play, where the boys, won two of their three matches.
They opened the tournament with a three-set loss (25-21, 21-25, 13-15) to Bulkley Valley, before stringing together victories against Chilliwack’s Highroad Academy (23-25, 25-14, 15-13) and Sparwood (25-18, 26-26) in seeding play, to give them the No. 14 seed heading into the next round.
On Friday, Nov. 22, Gaglardi faced No. 3 seed Centennial Christian (Terrace) in the first playoff round, losing a best-of-five match in straight sets (25-16, 25-21, 25-17) to send them to the consolation bracket.
Gaglardi played Fernie in their first consolation bracket match, winning the best-of-three 15-25, 25-21, 15-12.
Next up was St. Ann’s Academy (Kamloops), who won in straight sets, 25-17, 25-20, setting Gaglardi up for an 11/12th place match against Bulkley Valley – a chance for the Gaglardi boys to avenge their opening-match loss. It once again went three sets, with Gaglardi losing 11-15 in the tiebreaker, to finish 12th overall.
Arrows coach, Chirs McKague, was proud of his squad’s achievement.
“Overall the boys placed 12th out of 16 teams and was the team that moved up in ranking the most out of all teams at the tournament,” he said. (The Arrows came in ranked 16th.) “It was an excellent tournament of great volleyball, team unity, and new experiences.”
Vernon Christian School, which came in as the top-seeded team in the tournament, won the provincial banner, dropping but one set throughout the entire tournament – in the opening match.