Ecole Mark R Isfeld Secondary senior boys’ volleyball team got off to a hot start this past weekend by finishing second in the top of the very strong 16-team annual tournament at Camousin College in Victoria.
“It’s probably one of the deepest teams the school has ever had,” said Isfeld senior boys’ coach, Esther Bayles.
The team has three very strong Grade 12s and a few just as strong Grade 11s, with one Grade 11 player Carson East, recently playing at the Canada Cup this past summer with the bronze-medalist U16 Team BC.
“Normally, you’d see quite a drop between your best guy and your last, but with this team, the difference between our first and last is much smaller than in previous seasons,” ” Bayles said. “Although still a lot of the season to play before the end, things are looking really good early.
The boys finished first in their round Robin with straight-set match wins against Highland Secondary (25-21, 25-20) and Parkland Secondary (25-15, 25-20) from Victoria, then lost a razer thin match to Dover Bay (25-23, 20-25, 12-15) Taking the one set from Dover Bay was enough to secure first place in Pool D.
It was on to the playoffs where the boys met a strong Victoria volleyball school, Reynolds in the semifinals.
The team knocked off Reynolds in straight sets (25-23, 25-21), moving them into the semifinals against Vic High. In a very close duel, they came out on top in three sets (25-21, 17-25, 15-11) capturing their spot into the gold medal game against one of the best AAA teams in the province, Claremont Secondary. The atmosphere was electrifying. The boys gave it their best and almost stole a second set but ended up losing in two, (19-25, 21-25). Leading the way for the tournament was East with 33 attacks, 15 blocks and four aces, Henry Holland with 27 kills, seven blocks and five aces and Nick Linegar with 20 kills, one block and three aces. The entire team contributed to capturing this amazing finish at their first tournament of the season.
“I am super proud of the team for their level of play, consistent positive energy, and ability to adapt and incorporate new plays on the fly. This will be an exciting season,” said Bayles.
The Highland senior boys also travelled down to the Camousin tournament and had a strong finish as well winning the Tier 2 championship bracket (ninth over all in the 16-team tournament!)
Next up is a tournament at UBC on Sept. 22-23.