The South Delta Sun Devils will head to the provincial championships as the No. 1 ranked team in the province and the future certainly looks bright too.
On top of impressive Grade 9 and junior teams, the Sun Devils Grade 8 squad capped a tremendous season by taking top honours at the at the B.C. Invitational Championships.
The result reflects a strong entry level program that is overseen by Mike Kilpatrick who has come full circle since arriving at SDSS 20 years ago to begin his teaching career and coach the school’s Grade 8 girls team then. Now an administrator in the Surrey School District, Kilpatrick lives in Tsawwassen and his daughter Payton Kilpatrick is a key team member. His wife Karen is a councillor at the school and serves as an assistant coach while SDSS teacher Anne Howlett is helping with coaching too.
“No doubt all the dedicated work of (senior girls coach) Dan Burgess at SDSS to build a strong program is a major draw for young female athletes in Tsawwassen to participate in volleyball,” said Kilpatrick. “Also having dedicated teacher coaches like Anne who ran practices all season for both the Blue and Yellow Grade 8 teams means that over 20 Grade 8 girls were able to participate. Many of these players participated in SDSS’ Friday Night Heights volleyball camps and started playing club with Karen and I in Grade 6.
“Now I am back coaching (here) with my daughter on the team and my wife as an assistant. It made for a pretty special season.”
That special season saw the Sun Devils go 8-0 in Delta League play, without dropping a set, and produced first place finishes at the SDSS and Handsworth tournaments, along with a runner-up at Seaquam.
The girls lost a five set heartbreaker in the South Fraser championship match but then rolled through the provincials, dropping just one set en route to title.
Brianna McKee was named Provincial MVP. Payton Kilpatrick and Willow McComb were selected to the all-star team.
South Delta finished the campaign with a 35-2 overall record.
The team also featured Skye Stemerdink, Milania Kwiatkowski, Haeley Keen, Ryan Assaly, Faye Beatty, Miyla Novotny-Gooch, Lucy Olsen, Selina Dhillon and Angelina Burtini.