The Belmont Bulldogs celebrate during their gold-medal victory at the AAAA provincial championships at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press

The Belmont Bulldogs celebrate during their gold-medal victory at the AAAA provincial championships at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press

Belmont Bulldogs B.C.’s best once again

Vancouver Island squad successfully defends their title at BC provincial AAAA senior girls volleyball championships at Langley Events Centre

In a battle of the top two seeds — and a rematch of last year’s championship final, the defending champion Belmont Bulldogs were clinical, carving up the Handsworth Royals for a repeat victory.

The Royals scored the first two points of the BC high school volleyball girls AAAA gold-medal game on Saturday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre, but it was all Bulldogs the rest of the way.

Belmont, the Island champions, won 3-0, taking the first set 25-12 and then winning by identical 25-16 scores in sets two and three.

The relatively easy victory came as a surprise to Belmont coach Mike Toakley.

“But maybe we shouldn’t be surprised after the match they went through with Earl Marriott,” he said, taking about Handsworth’s five-set victory over the Mariners earlier that day.

Belmont defeated Semiahmoo 3-0 in the other semifinal.

“Going to five sets takes a lot out of you. I think from the get-go, it was obvious they were not as strong as they normally would be — we played them earlier this year and we know how good they are when they are fresh.

Not only did the Bulldogs win every match at provincials, but they also only dropped one set the entire way.

After going 3-0 on Thursday in pool play, Belmont faced the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers in the round of 16 on Friday morning and while the Panthers lost the match, they did manage to win a set off the Bulldogs.

Toakley said the team’s championship experience from last year came in handy during that match.

“We had a really tough team … in the round of 16 and they gave us all they could handle,” he explained. “We knew from the past experience that you can never take any round for granted and that was the time when their experience kicked in the most.”

The Bulldogs were led by Grade 12 star Savannah Purdy, who picked up her second consecutive most outstanding player award.

She said last year’s experience really helped.

“It was huge being in the provincial final last year, just knowing what to expect and what it takes, I think just helped us prepare and compete this weekend,” Purdy said.

“It is really cool to be recognized but everyone on our team played extremely well so I couldn’t have done that without them,” she said.

Purdy said the team’s familiarity with one another — the majority of the team has played together since Grade 8 and they also play club volleyball together — is a big factor in their success.

“We have been playing together for a really long time so we are good at calming each other down when we are on the court and playing as a team,” she said.

“And we are really good friends off the court so I think the chemistry really transfers when you are playing, just knowing they are there for you is huge.”

Belmont’s Grace May was a second team all-star while Taylee Pomponio and Miranda Cry were first team all-stars.

Handsworth’s Courtney Steele was named the tournament’s most outstanding libero while the Royals’ Kayla Oxland was a first team all-star.

Toakley said his team keyed on Oxland.

“She is the straw that stirs the drink for sure,” he said. “She is so fast and so athletic, anything you can do to get her off the game is going to help you.”

In the bronze-medal game, it was Earl Marriott defeating Semiahmoo 2-0 to place third.


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Belmont Bulldogs’ Hannah May sends a shot past th block of Handsworth Royals’ Marjorie Mahon (#18) and Robin Danyluk during the BC AAAA senior girls volleyball championships gold-medal match on Saturday (Dec. 2) at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press

Belmont Bulldogs’ Hannah May sends a shot past th block of Handsworth Royals’ Marjorie Mahon (#18) and Robin Danyluk during the BC AAAA senior girls volleyball championships gold-medal match on Saturday (Dec. 2) at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press

Just Posted

Image courtesy CDC
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Kitamaat Village

Haisla Nation Council said there are two confirmed cases they are aware of at this time

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

An RCMP officer confers with military rescuers outside their Cormorant helicopter near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
Good Samaritan helped Kootenay police nab, rescue suspect which drew armed forces response

Midway RCMP said a Good Samaritan helped track the suspect, then brought the arresting officer dry socks

People line up at a COVID-19 assessment centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Toronto and Peel region continue to be in lockdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccine approval could be days away as pressures mount on health-care system

Many health officials in regions across the country have reported increasing pressures on hospitals

(Needpix.com)
Pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ concerns for B.C. children and youth with special needs: report

Pandemic worsened an already patchwork system, representative says

Most Read