The 2019 Prince George city volleyball championships provided confidence boosters to the victors last night (Oct. 30) before heading into a busy month of November.
The Duchess Park senior girls and College Heights senior boys each earned their respective banners by winning in straight sets against their opponents Wednesday at the College of New Caledonia gym (see highlights below).
For the Condors, the ladies easily flew away in the first set against the D.P. Todd Trojans and opened with a score of 25-10.
The second set was very close between the two schools as D.P. Todd provided key kills in the frame to come back, a one point, from a four-score deficit.
The red and blue eventually carried themselves to a 23-20 advantage, but Duchess Park put up five unanswered points to claim the 2019 city title by a 25-20 score, courtesy of smart serving by Rebekah Plouffe.
.@DPSSCondors are the 2019 City Sr. Girls Volleyball champions, defeating @dptstrojans in straight sets (25-10, 25-20) 🦅 After running away in the 1st, Duchess Park rallied back late in the 2nd by scoring 5 points in a row to clinch the banner 🏐 | #CityOfPG @SD57PG @PGMatters pic.twitter.com/wtCl8NoFE2— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) October 31, 2019
Coach J.P. Martin says it’s been a tough year for his team in terms of finishing strong and closing the deal to ‘winning it all.’
“We just lost a close one on the weekend to PGSS, and I said to the kids right afterwards as a group, we were fully deserving of winning this because it was a group effort,” he told PrinceGeorgeMatters following the 2-0 triumph.
“I think Riley Teegee-Zatorski’s setting in the first was really good, and Macyn Unger and Karynn Hampe were really good on offense as well. We had a really hot server at the time [in the second set], and that was key. We controlled that, we brought it all the way back but that was after we got stuck in a bad rotation when we gave up a bunch of points. We then put [Rebekah] Plouffe back in the line-up and she started bombing away; that was a huge deal for us.”
The lady-Condors were ranked eighth in the province for senior girls AAA volleyball coming into the city championship, three steps below PGSS and five below northern region-rival Dawson Creek.
“At this point, we only know that we have one berth in provincials, so it’s going to be a dogfight absolutely,” added Martin, a nine-year veteran coach of the senior girls squad, on what’s coming up next.
Duchess Park is hosting its home tournament this weekend, Nov. 1 and 2, consisting of 12 teams from the north-central and Peace regions of B.C.
Meanwhile, it only took 50 minutes for the College Heights Cougars to show their dominance on the Prince George court and win the senior boys’ final.
The fifth-ranked AA team in the province quickly pounced on Duchess Park for their own 2-0 sweep, winning by scores of 25-21 and 25-19.
.@CHCougarsVBall Sr. Boys are City champions a second straight year 🏆 They beat @DPSSCondors in back-to-back sets by scores of 25-21 & 25-19 with the winning kill coming from Ohori (#7) | #CityOfPG @SD57PG @PGMatters pic.twitter.com/PbVnNpjcXw— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) October 31, 2019
This was the second consecutive city championship for the blue and white, who are looking to gain ground going into what will be a full schedule.
“We were definitely more comfortable today than what we were in our last tournament,” said Coach Linden Smith to PrinceGeorgeMatters. “Offense was looking good, serving was actually something we were doing really well too, and set location as well. It’s a good thing for our returning seniors as well.”
The banner also comes a day before College Heights heads south to the Coyote Classic in Lake Country and Smith says it’ll be a true test in the quest for provincials.
“It’s a 16-team tournament and they’re all best-of-five matches, so that’ll be a good test for us with a lot of good AA teams that we’ll face. We just need to have a good weekend; the key will be to show off our strengths. It’s just kind of staying consistent this weekend, through zones and up to provincials in Langley.”
The Cougars are among three Prince George schools in the top 15 for senior boys AA volleyball.
Duchess Park is in eighth, same as their senior girls counterpart, while D.P. Todd jumped up this week to grab the 15th spot after several weeks as an honourable mention.
Zone Championships are scheduled in Prince George for Nov. 15 and 16, with the senior girls playing at Kelly Road and the senior boys serving it up at D.P. Todd.