In an epic battle at the Richmond Oval, Seaside 18U Boys Surf won a 3 set nail biter vs FVVC to win gold at the provincial championships this past weekend.
Seaside went down in the first set 18-25 but regained their composure to win a close second set 28-26. One of the key turning points of the second set win was a 1st and 3rd touch dig by libero Kris La Guardia who powered the ball over top of the FVVC players into the deep corner to win the set forcing a 3rd set to decide the match. Rallies went on back and forth until Seaside was up, serving for game point at 14-13. Andy Barrero got the serve in but Fraser Valley won the point. Coach Dooley called a time out with the play. A solid 3 pass by Michael Dowhaniuk was all setter Malachi McMullin needed to find middle Teo Ardanaz for the kill. The gymnasium erupted in cheers as the boys fulfilled their season long dream of winning gold at 18U.
Coach Dooley said “I never doubted them for a second, even after the rocky start to the opening set. We knew that managing arousal levels in such a huge match would be imperative to our success, and guys coming in off the bench were critical in helping us to relax and find our rhythm. We knew that if we could keep the match tight, our belief in each other and the love that is felt in our locker room would help us come out on top.” Dave went on to say, “ I can't say enough about this group of young men; their work ethic, attention to detail, perseverance in the face of adversity, and bonds formed over several years as members of the Seaside family will be an experience that they remember for the rest of their lives. Now that we have accomplished our first goal for this season, we will enjoy this feeling for a couple of days before getting right back to work with our second goal of a National Gold Medal one step closer.”
Read Peace Arch News article U18 Seaside Surf to Provincial Volleyball Gold
“This has been a fantastic start to provincials for the club” said Shane Donen, president of Seaside. This marks the first 18U div 1 title for Seaside in its history. “We have won div 1 in every age group from 14U to 17U in both boys and girls since 2003, but this is the first 18U win for us” said Donen. Michael Dowhaniuk was named tournament MVP.
The weekend had several other successful results. The 17U boys Six Pack team finished with Bronze in the 18U division, first amongst the 17U age group defeating Lake Country from the Okanagan in 3 sets. Seaside 17U girls finished 4th in div 1 and Seaside 18U girls won bronze in div 2.
The teams will now set their sites on the National Championships in Edmonton where potential medals are definitely in the mix for this group of special 17U and 18U boys and girls. Best of luck to the teams!