The Isfeld Ice senior boys volleyball team qualified for provincials in dramatic fashion at the AA Island finals at St. Michael’s University School in Victoria on the weekend.
The Ice comfortably beat Stelly’s and Timberline, and defeated the top-ranked Pacific Christian School in three sets on Friday. On Saturday, Isfeld scored two decisive set wins over the host SMU. The two teams were identically ranked heading into the match.
The Ice needed to win one of its next two matches but squandered the first opportunity by coming out flat against Gulf Islands, who would play Pacific Christian for first and second. Isfeld then faced Lambrick Park in a five-set match for the third and final berth to provincials later this month in Langley. Isfeld led most of the first set but Lambrick won 26- 24. The Ice led the second set but again their Victoria opponent came back to win 31-29. Down two sets, Isfeld had to rally and came out in the third set with a big lead. Again Lambrick caught up and tied the game 25-25, but this time the Ice scored the two-point victory 27-25. Still facing elimination, Isfeld came on strong in the fourth set and Lambrick started to look tired. Isfeld won the fourth set 25-17 to force a fifth and deciding set. For the first time in the match, Lambrick pulled out to an early lead, but then collapsed. Isfeld scored 10 points by hitting, blocking and forcing Lambrick errors to put the match away. Gracious in defeat, many Lambrick players congratulated the boys on a character victory.
The boys aren’t the only local team representing the Valley at B.C.’s. For the second year in a row, the Isfeld senior boys and senior girls qualified for provincials. At the AAA Island championship at Timberline Secondary in Campbell River, the Isfeld girls finished fourth but were in close contention with the top three. Coaches say they have a realistic shot at another B.C. top 10 finish this year. The girls play next week at Crofton House in Vancouver.