Morning Star Staff
The Seaton Sonics were a weary and happy bunch as they discussed their amazing season Saturday night at Wings Restaurant.
The Sonics made school history by securing a silver medal at the B.C. Senior AAA Girls Volleyball Championships Saturday at Okanagan Mission Secondary in Kelowna.
The No. 3 Little Flower Angels, who earlier stopped the Sonics in preliminary play, dispatched the Sonics 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-19) in the gold-medal match Saturday night.
First-team all-star Dana Kievit says the Sonics believed in themselves, but were a touch overwhelmed going into the final.
Ranked No. 5 entering the Sweet 16, the Sonics stunned top-rated Brooks Thunderbirds of Powell River 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 25-18, 25-16) in the Saturday afternoon semifinals.
“We never expected to be in the final game and I think the pressure got to us because we hadn’t prepared to get that far,” said Kievit. “I looked at Little Flower and they were calm and I could tell by looking in everybody’s eyes that we were terrified.”
Second place is the highest ever finish by a Seaton senior girls volleyball team.
“We’ve been playing together for a long time and we are usually in sync because we’re friends as well. We pull each other up when things aren’t going our way.”
Sam Scott and second-team all-star Ava Haldane pushed ahead with several great kills in the final. Ella Oduro exploded from the right side with a few blasts and Drew Barker came in the back row to help steady the defence.
“The Angels took control of the match and the Sonics fought hard but could not overcome their adversaries,” said Seaton coach Jeff Huggins.
Scott was also recognized as a first-team all-star.
“We knew we had a shot because we took them to 17-15 (in third set) and it was a close match in the round-robin,” said the 5-foot-8 power. “We were exhausted (from the semis) and we just couldn’t push ourselves any further. We were kind of upset we didn’t win but once things set in, we were pretty happy with silver.”
Kievit gave Huggins props for convincing the Sonics to strive for excellence.
“He was pushing us and telling us what to do and we listened. Sometimes you don’t want to hear it, but it’s often what the team needs.”
Seaton iced Nanaimo Islanders and Mountain Eagles of Langley in other preliminary action.
“We had the highest finish for a girls team in school history,” said Huggins. “The girls were delighted that Seaton grad Brittney Page, who was Team Canada’s captain until she recently retired, awarded the silver medals.”
The Sonics earned a spot in the final with a convincing victory over the Thunderbirds, controlling the entire match.
“The passing was incredible and libero Rose Harned and back row specialist Maddie Findlay-Procter were key in the defence,” said Huggins. “Ava Haldane continued to dominate the net with seven blocks.
“Sam Scott was devastating from the left side with eight kills and Dana Kievit had six kills and was fantastic at the service line. Kalli Hamilton-Gee was sensational in setting up the offence. Ella Oduro continued to pound away in the middle and Emma Haner was a force on the right side.
“The team was supported by Drew Barker, Kenzie Nieuwenhuis, injured Ellen Van Buren and an amazing manager Irene Lopez from Spain. They played their best match of the year with amazing confidence and composure.”
Seaton has four players returning next season: Kievit, Oduro, Hamilton-Gee and Oduro.
“This is an amazing group of young ladies who have developed a passion for the game and demonstrated a high level of skill,” said Huggins. “They should be very proud of their accomplishments this year.”