Evidence is mounting that the Belmont Bulldogs senior boys volleyball team is as good as people in town are saying it is.
The Bulldogs took first place in the Vancouver Island University Volleyball Tournament on the weekend while taking out several of the Island’s top teams along the way.
The team won six out of six matches in pool play, and all four playoff games, and only dropped two sets in the entire tournament.
“It made me so happy to watch them play like an elite team and knock out Oak Bay and then come back in three in the final,” coach Kris Johnson said. “They never gave up and always played like gentleman which truly is what I'm proud of most.”
The Bulldogs beat Highlands 2-1 in first round of the playoffs and Ucluelet 2-0 in the quarterfinal. Then came an impressive 2-0 win over the always strong Oak Bay Barbers in the semifinal, setting up the team’s final against Nanaimo District secondary. The team needed the tiebreaker to defeat Nanaimo.
Nanaimo and Highlands are the fifth and sixth ranked AA teams in the province, respectively. Belmont was not included in the Oct. 2 release of the provincial senior boys AAA rankings, but will likely enter the top-10 next week.
It’s all part of a strong start by the Bulldogs, which finished second place in the annual Camosun Chargers tournament last month. The team is built around a core group of seniors which Johnson has coached for five seasons.
Lower Vancouver Island high school boys volleyball continues tonight (Oct. 9) with Reynolds, Spectrum and Claremont at Mount Douglas; Parkland and Belmont at Esquimalt; and Stelly’s and Oak Bay at Lambrick. All matches start at 6 p.m.
The Lower Island senior girls league moves to challenge games on Tuesday (Oct. 8). Teams will break into power pools based on the results of this week for next week’s games on Oct. 15.