Ranked top three in AAAA girls’ volleyball all season, it’s only fitting that the South Delta Secondary senior girls will be ranked third when the provincial championships get underway on Thursday.
SDSS has reeled off an impressive campaign thus far with a 35-8 record including a South Fraser Championship after defeating Earl Marriot (25-23, 25-27, 25-20, 25-14) on Monday night (Nov. 20) on their home floor.
That came after earlier tournament wins over Panorama (25-12, 25-14, 25-18) and Lord Tweedsmuir (25-7, 25-22, 21-25, 25-15).
The squad also had a great tournament record throughout the season placing third at UBC, third at the Handsworth North Shore Classic, first at Camosun College and tied for fifth at the Red Serge Classic in Coquitlam,
They also finished in first place in the competitive South Fraser Premiere League, which ranked them first for the South Fraser Championship tournament.
“Great result for us at the South Fraser’s,” said head coach Dan Burgess. “Earl Mariott is really a class act…such a good team…we’ve played them three times and it’s a miracle that we’ve won all three times. They are super talented. It was a great opponent to play in the final.”
The provincials start on Nov. 30 at Seaquam Secondary in North Delta and SDSS with power pool play, then on Friday, the groups will be re-worked for cross-overs matches as the playoffs begin with the medal round on Saturday.
SDSS is in pool A with Okanagan Mission, Riverside and Yale.
On Thursday, the Sun Devils play Okanagan Mission at 10 a.m., Yale at 12:30 and Riverside at 3 p.m. All matches are a best-of-three and all three matches will be at SDSS.
SDSS is coming off a third-place finish at last year’s provincials and is hoping to get into the medal round again this year, but Burgess knows it will be a tough challenge.
“We have a lot of things in our favour. Being able to play at home is nice, but that can go against you because it’s also good to be away,” he said. “With our high ranking, we should get an easier cross-over game, so I’ll be disappointed if we don’t finish top eight. Really our goal should be top four. We want to be in one of the semifinals for sure, but honestly there is so much parity. We make the semifinals and it’s still anybody’s game. There are at least six teams that could win it this year – the three Okanagan teams have a shot. We have a shot, Riverside and Yale.
“I would think the outcome of this year will be a lot harder to put your finger on. I thought last year it was pretty obvious who the top three or four teams in the province were, but this year I don’t think anyone can predict who will be in the semifinals.”