VOLLEYBALL: Breakers become a dynasty for Surrey’s Pacific Academy

GUILDFORD — After finishing in third place at last season’s girls’ Double A provincial volleyball championships, the Pacific Academy Breakers followed that up in November by winning their second B.C. title in four years.

The icing on the cake for the Breakers was they didn’t lose a single match in the league, Fraser Valley championships and provincial championships this season.

In the two years the team didn’t bring home the B.C. banner, they still came home with medals, earning bronze last year and silver the year before that.

"I’m very proud of all of that. It’s not easy to be top three in the province in any given time," said head coach Stacey Stang on the team’s consistent podium finishes.

Stang said the success comes from a longterm program, which was implemented when she started coaching the senior girls’ volleyball team 16 years ago.

When she first took control of the team, the former Trinity Western outside hitter said she had to teach the team the basics of volleyball. It was then, when Stang and some of her fellow co-workers who also played volleyball with the Spartans decided to put together a club team within the school.

Force Volleyball Club was developed to allow the volleyball players at Pacific Academy to play the sport year round – four months with the school team, four months playing club and playing beach volleyball in the summer.

"It’s creating a bit of a volleyball culture here and a volleyball fever that’s spreading, and we’re just drawing more and more kids into the program because of it," she added. "It’s nice to see the ripple effect."

The club team draws players as young as seven years old in the little diggers program.

"What’s neat is all of the years of investing, we’re starting to see the fruit continuously and consistently and it feels … like we’re building a dynasty," said the coach.

Stang, who is also the director of Force Volleyball Club, said the quality of the athletes allow her to be more creative when it comes to making line ups because she trusts all of her players and said all of them play a role on the court.

"If anything, it was a gift to create any mix of a line up and have players who can play multiple positions," she said.

However, she gives a lot of credit to the coaches who developed the girls to the point where she doesn’t have to teach the girls the basics of volleyball, but just "sharpens" their skills.

What may be even more impressive about the team is that most of them will return next season as only three of the 10 players are graduating in June.

Shay Reimer, who committed to the University of New Orleans, said she has been dreaming of this moment for several years.

"It was the best possible way to end my last season of high school," said the libero. "I’ve gone to this school my entire life. In Grade 5, I remember watching one of the senior girls’ games, and I pictured myself as one of those girls."

Jessica Bailey, who committed to Trinity Western, said she feels blessed to have the talent to play at such a high level.

kyle.benning@gmail.com

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