The Highland Raiders senior boys’ volleyball team ended their highly successful season placing first on the Island and sixth in the province.
At the Island championships on Salt Spring Island, Highland came out on top of all AA schools. It was a whole team effort and Grade 11 setter Jared Collin came away with first all-star honours and Highland’s captain and power hitter Chris Dodd was named MVP of the tournament.
In the weeks between winning the Vanier tournament and the provincial championships in Kelowna, the Raiders had won 23 straight games.
In the opening round of pool play at the B.C.s in Kelowna, Highland defeated NDSS, Princess Margaret and College Heights to place first in their pool. The following morning they won their crossover game to advance to the quarter-finals.
This game was against Langley Christian, the team ranked second in the province. This was the game of the boys’ lives. Every single player played their heart out. The skill and intensity the Highland boys showed on the court was inspirational to see.
The Raiders won the first and third sets and in the four4th they had Langley Christian 23-21 but unfortunately the win was not to be. Langley came back and followed up with a fifth set tiebreaker win.
This loss was a tough one for the team – it was the one they wanted most of all, although fans and parents in the gym felt lucky to be there to see the heart, determination and camaraderie this group of close knit boys displayed. The support the players gave each other in winning and in losing was something they will remember for years to come.
The tournament ended with a loss to arch rivals NDSS and a sixth-place finish. Highland’s two power hitters, Tristan MacLean and Chris Dodd were recognized with honourable mentions from the all star committee.
Coach Pieter de la Rey did such a fabulous job, taking the team to another level of play this season. The players and their families will always be thankful for Pieter’s dedication to this team over the last two seasons.
– Highland Raiders