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Storm shocks Pemberton for Sea to Sky title

After tight first set, Whistler completes sweep of red devils



The Whistler Secondary School Storm senior girls' volleyball team rained on Pemberton's parade.

With head coach Laura Wetaski unavailable to serve as bench boss, Rod Thompson stepped in and guided the Storm to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-12 and 25-19) win over Pemberton to take the Sea to Sky championship on Nov. 6.

The year overall was a tough one, Thompson said, explaining though the team didn't win many matches, players learned plenty about the game over the course of the year.

"It was a good ending to a difficult season," Thompson said.

Setter Sydney Knapton, a Grade 12 student, said once Whistler emerged from the first set with the victory, the Storm charged forward and were able to overwhelm the visitors.

"I think we got to them a little bit," Knapton said of the "nailbiter" of a first set. "Knowing that we could beat them set the mood."

Thompson said the Storm's serving and defence helped lift the squad to victory.

The day before the Pemberton match, the Storm competed in the district championship playoffs, playing powerhouses Elphinstone and Chatelech. Thompson said the Whistler defence rose up to the challenge presented to it, something that carried over to the next day.

"They are very, very powerful teams compared to the teams we normally play," he said. "They got beat fairly badly, but they learned a lot. They played two matches, four games, and they saw a lot of offence that they had never seen before, so they had to make some adjustments and did a lot of learning in those four games.

"On Thursday when they came back here, they put a lot of that into play."

Grade 12 middle Lotte Schnur explained the Storm found little schemes the opponents were running, and accounting for those, added some sharpness to their game.

"We realized little things that they were doing, so we changed to those and we won (against Pemberton)," Schnur said.

Thompson noted the team's main lineup against Pemberton included four enthusiastic Grade 11 players, so he is encouraged by what the group will be able to do next year as well.

Both Knapton and Schnur coached younger levels within the school, and both added it provided a fresh perspective to their on-court performance.

"If you can coach something, you understand it better," said Knapton, who was involved with the Grade 9 team.


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