The Pacific Academy Breakers completed a dominant season in the Senior AA ranks by winning the provincial championship Nov. 27-29 at Brentwood College School on Vancouver Island.
The Surrey school lost just two games in seven matches, and paced by tournament MVP (Most Valuable Player) Mikayla Funk, the Breakers swept the Ladysmith 49ers (25-29, 25-10, 25-23) in the championship match.
“They are a team of 10 starters, I can truly stay there is incredible depth to these girls, and I trust each and every one of them to contribute just as effectively as the next when they are on the court,” said head coach Stacey Stang. “That is an incredible blessing as a coach. It’s not very often you have a team with this kind of depth.”
The Breakers proved themselves as a championship team over the course of the season, winning the Best of the West tournament in Kelowna, as well as the Fraser Valley championship tournament. And as they cruised through the opposition all season and again at the provincial tournament, they didn’t become overconfident.
“One of our goals as coaches has been to make sure that we don’t get complacent in our push for bettering ourselves,” said Stang, who worked with assistant coach Aaron Myette this season. “The danger in a winning season is thinking you have arrived, and don’t need to continue to work to sharpen and improve.”
At the provincial tournament, Pacific Academy didn’t lose a set in winning three best-of three matches to finish atop Pool A, and began their playoff run with a sweep of Smithers that saw the northern B.C. team earns just 32 points in three sets.
The Breakers had a little more trouble with the Elphinstone Cougars, but still won in straight sets, before topping the Surrey Christian Falcons in the semifinal round. The Falcons were the lone team to come close to upsetting Pacific Academy, as the Breakers hung on for a five-set victory (25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 17-25, 15-13).
Pacific Academy placed Shaylene Reimer and Jessica Bailey on the first all-star team, with Gabrielle Attieh voted to the second team.
After their loss in the semi- final round, Surrey Christian clinched a bronze medal with a 25-15, 25-23 victory over the York House Tigers.
The Falcons swept Smithers in pool play, but needed the maximum three sets to top host Brentwood College and the D.P. Todd Trojans of Prince George to finish first in their group.
Surrey Christian topped Nanaimo’s Woodlands Golden Eagles 3-0 in the round-of-16, but needed the maximum five sets to edge the Hatzic Crusaders of Mission in the quarterfinal round (25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 17-25, 15-13).
Kiera Van Ryk of Surrey Christian was a first-team all-star, with teammate Micaella Crema a second-team choice.
At the Senior 4A tournament in Cranbrook, the Lord Tweedmuir Panthers placed ninth.
Seeded 13th for the 16-team tournament, Lord Tweedsmuir finished second in Pool D with a 2-1 won-lost record. The Panthers then topped the Terry Fox Ravens 3-1 before falling to Kelowna in the quarterfinal round.
In consolation play, Tweedsmuir lost a pair of best-of-three matches in straight sets to a pair of South Surrey schools, the Earl Marriott Mariners and the Elgin Park Orcas.
Two local schools were at the Senior AAA competition in Parksville, with the Seaquam Seahawks placing ninth and the Clayton Heights Nightriders placing 15th.
The Seahawks went 1-2 in the round robin portion of the tournament to place fourth in Pool D, then were swept 3-0 by the South Delta Sun Devils. In consolation play, they swept Prince George’s College Heights Cougars 2-0, topped Vancouver’s Prince of Wales 2-1, then edged the Hugh McRoberts Strikers of Richmond 2-1.
Clayton Heights went 1-2 to place third in Pool C, then lost in straight sets (3-0) to the Ballenas Whalers in the first round of the playoffs. In consolation play, they lost 2-0 to both Prince of Wales of Vancouver and Prince George’s College Heights Cougars, before defeating the South Kamloops Titans 2-1.
At the Senior AA boys provincial tournament at the Langley Events Centre, Surrey Christian and Pacific Academy placed in the top 10.
The Surrey Christian Falcons had an overall record of 4-3 (won-lost). The Falcons won one of three in pool play to earn the seventh-seed for the playoffs, where they began with a 3-1 victory over the Okanagan-Mission Huskies of Kelowna in the round-of-16. They were then topped by the Clarence Fulton Maroons of Vernon 3-2 in a quarterfinal match. A pair of 2-0 sweeps over two Prince George schools, the College Heights Cougars and the D.P. Todd Trojans, left the Falcons in fifth place.
Brent Reston of Surrey Christian was a second team all-star, and teammate Josiah Mooy was an honorable mention.
Pacific Academy won two of three matches in pool play to place first in their group, then lost their first playoff match 25-15, 23-25, 25-16, 25-21 to D.P. Todd. Then swept Parkland, W.L. Seaton and Okanagan-Mission to place ninth.