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

Just Posted

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island Health opens COVID-19 testing site at UVic

As with all other sites, an appointment is needed to receive a test

Thousands filled Centennial Square in June for the peace rally for Black lives, sparked by outrage over the death of George Floyd in the U.S. (Black Press Media file photo)
Survey seeks input on racism in Greater Victoria

Confidential answers to inform work with immigrants and marginalized people

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

Black Press Media took to the streets of Colwood to find houses decorated for Halloween. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Check out these Colwood homes ready for Halloween

Halloween takes place on Saturday, Oct. 31

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Commissioner Austin Cullen listens to introductions before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver, on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. money laundering inquiry hears of $800,000 and more in bags, luggage, backpacks

The lottery corporation has said it consistently reported suspicious transactions to Fintrac

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Most Read