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Top ranked South Delta await word on provincial tourney

Road closures and fuel rationing presenting challenges for Nanaimo event
South Fraser final
South Delta's Jane McDonald hits past a pair of Seaquam blockers during the South Fraser AAAA championship match. The Sun Devils won the all-city battle with McDonald earning tournament MVP honours.

Instead of looking at potential match-ups, it’s fuel rationing and road closures at the forefront this week for the South Delta Sun Devils senior girls volleyball team.

The top ranked Sun Devils should be taking aim at a fourth B.C. School Sports champions banner in program history at next week’s B.C. AAAA tournament in Nanaimo. However, the showcase event could be downsized to a regional tournament due to last week’s storm resulting in highway closures and fuel rationing.

That’s already happened with high school football playoffs that have been divided into Coastal and Interior playdowns. Volleyball teams will know their fate sometime on Wednesday.

Sun Devils head coach Dan Burgess learned Monday his team can travel to Nanaimo next week as long as the province-wide fuel rationing has been lifted by then. However, he is fully expecting to be playing in a regional tournament with travel being so limited. The most recent B.C. AAAA rankings featured three Interior schools among the top 10 – Kelowna, Mt. Boucherie and Okanagan-Mission.

“I don’t think they will come and I don’t think B.C. School Sports will call it a provincial (tournament) anymore,” said Burgess. “I don’t get stress about things I can’t control. I hope the girls realize that too. This is above our paygrade. You take what you can get.”

Regardless of what happens, the Sun Devils at least produced a pair of big victories in the last couple of weeks. After capturing the Red Serge Classic in dramatic fashion in Port Coquitlam, the girls added a South Fraser playoff title with a four-set win over the Seaquam Seahawks in last week’s championship match played at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in Cloverdale.

South Delta breezed to an easy first set win but battled hard for a 26-24 triumph in set two. The Seahawks took the third set before the Devils finally took care of their pesky city rival.

“They started serving and we stopped passing,” added Burgess of the momentum shift. “That was the best match I have seen them play. They had to win a set. It would have been insane if they didn’t because they were playing so well. It felt pretty tense for three sets where you felt it could go either way.”

Senior Jane McDonald earned tournament MVP honours. Teammates Myah Cressy and Mackenzie Campbell were named all-stars.

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