The Grade 8 girls from Whistler Secondary got their first look at provincial-level competition in Burnaby last week as they took part in a Volleyball B.C. tournament at the Harry Jerome Sports Centre.
The Whistler Secondary Storm entered two teams in the tournament, white and blue, finishing ninth and 10th out of 10 teams. Although they finished last, they played well throughout the tournament, and had some of their best games against the top teams from around the Lower Mainland.
"The team really rose to the occasion and upped their play to the next level for this tournament," said Myrna Bush, the volunteer coach of the team, along with Dasha Dudley, Karen Kay and team manager Judy Keith.
"They could have played some of the younger kids and won, but they wanted to play their peers even if it meant losing some games. Their spirit and sporstmanship were really great to see."
The Storm girls experience so far has been limited to teams in Pemberton and Brackendale, which they defeated. They also played a Squamish side that plays in the city once a week, and lost.
According to Bush, many of the players would like to continue playing as a club once the school season is over, to build on what theyve learned this season.
"The teams they played were spiking and serving overhand, and had much better sets, but those are the kinds of things you can learn with a little practice. This team has only really been together since September, and most of the girls are just starting out," said Bush.
Although its a school team, all of the coaches and volunteers and sponsors at Garibaldi Mortgage, Katmandu Sports, Alpine Market and the Village Grocery Store stepped up with funding and equipment to help the teams get to the tournament.
Parent volunteers were also important, helping out by driving and getting involved with the team.
"The bottom line is that if parents dont get involved in these things, our kids are not going to be able to do anything," said Bush.
The Whistler Secondary Storm Grade 8 Girls Volleyball Team is Chelsea Bush, Jessica Craig, Sarah Craviero, Nadine Crowe, Jenya Dudley, Lauren Edwards, Dana Jensen, Jocelyn Kay, Paige Keith, Evin Kerr, Tara Newell, Ariana Stufano and Lonnie Wake. Samatha Ellis and Tasha Pamintuin are also on the team, but were unable to attend the tournament.