The Belmont Bulldogs celebrate during their gold-medal victory at the AAAA provincial championships at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press

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

 

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

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

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read