SANDY GRENIER PHOTOS The Port Hardy Reigns girls volleyball team travelled to Abbotsford to compete in a provincial tournament last weekend. The girls played great and won three matches on Saturday, placing ninth out of 14 teams in their division.

Port Hardy Reigns place ninth at provincial tournament in Abbotsford

“I am very proud to see the girls enjoy themselves and have a great season”

It was the experience of a lifetime for a team of young female athletes from the North Island.

The Port Hardy Reigns volleyball team made the long trek to Abbotsford two weeks ago for the annual Volleyball BC Provincials tournament held at the Tradex centre.

“With 18 courts, boys and girls teams, multiple divisions and age groups, it really is quite the sight to see and an atmosphere that most of these young ladies had never seen the likes of,” said coach Justin Reusch, who noted the Reigns started things off by playing games on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

“Getting off the bus on Friday mid-day after commuting from Nanaimo, the girls hopped onto the court cold, landed flatfooted and succumbed to back to back losses in their round robin pool play,” said Reusch, who added their third game of the day after crossing over to compete in the other pools “was a much closer game – they shook off their beginning of tournament jitters.”

After a late dinner and a good sleep, Reusch stated the Reigns came out of the gate on Saturday swinging, winning their first game two straight sets outright.

“With some renewed confidence and some momentum they moved into their second game of the day, pushing the first set into overtime with a close 27-25 loss,” he said.

After identifying their mistakes and improving on their communication, the Reigns moved into the second set determined to get back on top, finishing with a strong 25-21 win. Building off their success with amazing effort and improved teamwork, the Reigns dominated the third set with a sound 15-5 win.

High on the adrenaline thanks to the well earned win and climbing the ladder back up towards the finals, the Reigns found themselves up against a very evenly matched team.

“We knew it would be a great game,” said Reusch, noting the first set ended up with a commanding 25-20 win, but the second set “we fell to frustration and mistakes, losing a very close game.”

That second set turned out to be the turning point for the Reigns. “From point forward it was a point for point fight and the game was so close that I didnt even take down the score fort the final two sets,” laughed Reusch, who added he looked up the score online later on, “and it says we finished with a 15-10 win over Focus which left the girls ending their tournament with a three game win streak to set them up in ninth place in the Tier 2 playoffs.”

How did the team feel after the tournament came to an end?

“Lets just say it was a very noisy and excited bus ride back to the hotel,” said Reusch, who added it was “a well earned end to a season of learning and growing as individuals and as a team. I am very proud to see the girls enjoy themselves and have a great season of working hard building friendships and making memories.”

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