Rapids on the rise in girls volleyball

The future for girls volleyball at Riverside secondary school is bright.

While the senior team finished eighth at the AAAA provincial championships last week at the Langley Events Centre, it’s the junior team that’s fuelling excitement on the hardwood.

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They recently won their second consecutive provincial title. More impressively, they haven’t lost a game in two years.

Rapids’ coach Bryan Gee said there’s no secret to the success of the team, which last year won the Grade 9 championship after going undefeated all season, “They come to the gym each and every day and give their best and get better.”

Gee said while all his athletes hone their skills playing club volleyball — mostly with the Ducks volleyball program in Coquitlam — it’s in the high school’s gym where their athleticism is fused with Riverside’s culture of hard work, selflessness and development to create an amalgam for winning.

“The key for us has always been staying focussed on improving each and every day, rather than wins, losses and results,” he said.

That approach paid off in the provincial semi-final, when the young Riverside players faced their toughest test, against highly-regarded Mount Boucherie.

Gee said looking through the net at the team from Kelowna was like looking at a mirror, as the Bears are also stacked with talented players from a robust club system.

“We needed to play our best to beat them,” Gee said.

The Rapids did just that, 25-22 and 25-21, launching the team into the final where they beat Notre Dame.

Power hitter Jaimie Hewlett was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

• At the AAAA senior championships, in addition to Riverside’s eighth-place finish, Terry Fox was tied for 15th with Sardis secondary and the Pinetree Timberwolves were 17th.

Riverside’s senior boys team finished seventh at the provincial AAA senior championships, which were also played at the Langley Events Centre.

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