Saanich’s Mount Doug Rams on a roll heading into AAA girls volleyball provincials

Following a triumphant season, Mount Douglas Secondary’s AAA senior girls volleyball team has the chance to be crowned provincial champions next week.

The Rams compete for the B.C. title at Crofton House School in Vancouver from Dec. 9 to 11.

Coming off last year’s pandemic-altered season, the team didn’t know what team sports would look like this year, said co-coach Derek Horton, so they approached it with cautious optimism in light of provincial health orders.

As the year has unfolded, Horton said, their season turned out to be very successful.

“We’ve played most of the tougher AAAA schools this year and we got the results to back up our success as a team,” he said.

The Rams went 15-1-1 in local league pool play this season and went a perfect 8-0 in matches to earn the top south Island berth into the Island championships, which they went on to win. Mount Doug also won a Camosun College-hosted tournament and were runners-up in another at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo.

Grade 12 player Lucy Millam was named MVP at the Camosun tournament, with Olivia Peterson and Giada Valentini earning all-star honours for their stellar performances this season.

The girl’s volleyball program has been run by Horton the past seven years and he began working with some current Mount Doug players when they were in Grade 6 at Arbutus Middle School. Fellow coaches Jim Smyth and Samantha Owen have also been coaching some players since middle school days.

The opportunities to work one-on-one with the girls and support them closely as a team in recent years is part of the reason the Rams have reached provincials, Horton added.

“Our strong defense is also what enables us to find more chances to put the ball away and we are really hoping to find success (in the tournament),” he said.

Mount Doug opens pool play at 10 a.m. Thursday (Dec. 9) against the Langley Thunderbirds. The playoffs get underway Friday morning with the semifinals, final and bronze medal game scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Follow the Rams’ progress at glambert6.wixsite.com/website.

ALSO READ: Aiden Grew retains crown for fourth time in race up Mount Douglas

Megan Atkins-Baker

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Megan Atkins-Baker

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