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SDSS junior girls win provincial championship

Nearly perfect season for volleyball team
The South Delta Secondary junior girls volleyball team won the provincial championship last weekend in Surrey. Photo courtesy Mike Kilpatrick

Four sets…that’s how many the South Delta Secondary junior girls volleyball team lost all season during a remarkable run to a provincial championship.

SDSS won the provincial title in Surrey last weekend completing a 45-1 season.

“It was an incredible tournament and all the girls contributed to the championship,” said Mike Kilpatrick who coaches the team alongside his wife Karen.

Gala Sierra Vanrell was named tournament MVP, while Payton Kilpatrick and Brianna McKee were named first team all-stars.

At the South Fraser Championship, which the team took the gold medal, Sierra Vanrell was named MVP while Kilpatrick and Assaly were named first team all-stars.

The team went undefeated in Delta league play and the playoffs never losing a set.

During the season they also had three, first-place finishes at the Seaquam, Handsworth and South Delta tournaments while finishing third at a tournament in Vernon.

“I’ve been coaching for 28 years, and I have never seen a team this dominant,” he said. “I would say there are two pieces to the make-up of the team. For one, we really have five incredible ‘A’ level players, which is rare at the high school level. Not only was this the most skilled team in the province, but it was also the deepest, with girls throughout the lineup who would have started on most other teams. All season long we have been able to roll all 12 players.

“Our team is an aggressive, offensive team and the girls committed to playing incredible defence. Most teams do one or the other, but these girls, who can all play hard hitting volleyball, and play great defence, well that is rare and unique at any level and led to our success.

“The majority of them has also been together since Grade 6. They are great friends, and their parents are incredibly supportive, so it all came together to form an incredible experience for all of us.”

The team roster included: Ryan Assaly, Faye Beatty, Angelina Burtini, Selina Dhillon, Miyla Gooch, Payton Kilpatrick, Willow McComb, Brianna McKee, Taylor Nyeste, Lucy Olson, Gala Sierra Vanrell and Skye Stemerdink with coaches Mike and Karen Kilpatrick.