Both the Smithers Secondary School (SSS) Senior and Junior Girls volleyball teams have advanced to provincial championships.
On Nov. 20, the seniors faced off against Charles Hayes Secondary School in Prince Rupert, the only other team in the Northwest AA zone this season.
The teams were scheduled to play a best of five match, but SSS prevailed in straight sets winning decisively 25-9, 25-14, and 25-13.
“I am extremely proud of our sr girls, not only for winning the zone championships, but also for their tremendous improvement and for demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship all season,” said Kristina Stefanek, head coach. “They are a genuinely kind and gracious team of individuals who have acted as exemplary student-athletes.”
Team captain Melissa Pesch took most valuable player honours in the zone matchup.
The previous weekend the junior girls also qualified for provincials at Ebenezer Canadian Reformed School where seven teams competed for the title.
After barely squeeking by Ebenezer to make the final, the SSS girls took on Houston Secondary for the title
“Smithers won in two straight sets, but was very well challenged and hats off to HSS for the awesome respectful competition,” said Smithers assistant coach Matthew Monkman.
Stefanek said the junior girls’ undefeated season is great news for the future of the girls volleyball program at SSS.
The SSS senior boys were not quite so successful. Facing off in Prince Rupert against Hazelton Secondary, the match got off to an exciting start, with the Gryphons edging out Hazelton 28-26 in the first set. Hazelton would prove too strong, though, taking the final two sets 25-18 and 15-11.
Hazelton also beat Charles Hayes setting up a silver medal matchup with SSS, which the Gryphons won.
As of press time, it was unclear whether the provincial championships for the senior girls would proceed at Mennonite Educational Institute (MEI) in Abbotsford Dec 2 – 4 would proceed due to historic flooding in the province. The team was awaiting a Nov. 24 directive from BC School Sports (BCSS).
“Again, we understand that there will be some disappointment around these changes, however, we believe it is the best way to ensure that student-athletes are provided an opportunity to complete their season and play meaningful games while minimizing travel requirements in recognition there are many in this province suffering greatly,” said a Nov. 19 BCSS release.