Entering the tournament as the number four seed from Vancouver Island, the Mark Isfeld senior girls volleyball team placed fourth at the provincial AAA championships at Crofton House in Vancouver — one spot better than last year’s fifth-place result in Kelowna.
The Isfeld Ice kicked things off by winning three matches on opening day Thursday, defeating GW Graham of Chilliwack, W.L. Seaton of Vernon and Hugh McRoberts of Richmond. In Friday’s crossover match, they defeated Kelly Road of Prince George, 25-10, 25-23, 25-15.
“I don’t think they’ve peaked yet,” Lee McKillican, assisting head coach Kurt Stushnoff, said Friday before a tough quarter-final match against Caledonia of Terrace. Last year at B.C.’s, the teams faced each other twice, each winining a match.
In Friday’s meeting, the Terrace side won the first two sets, but Isfeld stormed back to win it in five and advance to Saturday’s semifinals. In a valiant effort, the girls lost to eventual tournament champion Crofton House. In the bronze medal match, they lost in three sets to Vancouver’s Little Flower Academy.
Erin Buttnor of Isfeld made the second all-star team for the tourney, while teammate Sarah McKillican was a first team all-star selection, as she was last year.
The Mark Isfeld boys, meanwhile, were competing in the AA division at the Big Kahuna B.C. Volleyball Championships in Langley. On opening day, the boys lost in two sets to Sa-Hali of Kamloops and to Langley Fundamental, but defeated Smithers in three sets. The second set against Sa-Hali was 32-34.
”We came in ranked 16 and we have improved on that, but the structure of the draw has us playing tough teams today,” coach Jeff Taylor said Thursday during the round of 16.
On Thursday, the Ice lost in three sets to number two seed George Elliot of Lake Country in the Okanagan.
“We definitely earned their respect,” Taylor said. “A team parent and the coach saw me after the game and said they didn’t expect such good digging and powerful hitting from the 16th seed team.”
On Friday, the boys defeated Seaton to compete in the top half of the consolation bracket (ninth to 12th).
“We came from behind in set one to take it 25-23, but dominated the second set 25-17,” Taylor said.
The Ice then lost in two sets to Pacific Christian — whom they had beaten at Islands.
The Grade 11s played the second set, and only lost 23-25.
“The future looks bright for our team,” Taylor said.
Instead of playing the 11/12 match, Taylor and the boys opted to drive to Vancouver to support the girls team.