The Alberni Airborne volleyball team dug deep at the U15 Vancouver Island championships at Alberni District Secondary School last weekend and came out with a bronze medal.
The Airborne started off the tournament playing the second ranked team from Nanaimo and won the first set 25-18.
They fought hard but dropped the second set in a close 22-25 battle.
In the tie breaking third game, Airborne lost 11-15.
It was uphill from there. Airborne won the first set to Victoria 25-15, lost the second set 12-25 and overcame the loss in the second set to win 15-12. The last round robin game was played against Port Hardy and Airborne won 25-20 and 25-16.
They ended up second in their pool and had to play Parksville Saturday night in their first playoff game. Port Alberni swept Parksville in two games and that advanced them to the semi-finals Sunday morning.
Airborne was matched up against Campbell River in the semi-finals and lost in two hard-fought straight sets.
They ended up matched against Victoria in the bronze medal match and this time it did not go to three sets— Alberni swept them in two straight to win a bronze medal.
“There has been tremendous growth in both their skills and mental toughness since the beginning of the season,” coaches Carly Whitmore and Erin O’Doherty said.
“They were not ready to settle for fourth place and it was great to see them fight for every point and really dig deep to win bronze.”
The Airborne’s two setters, Rebecca Donahue and Julie Korver hustled hard to ensure the set was there for the front row to hit.Korver served the game-winning bronze medal point after the Victoria coach called a strategic timeout when the score was 24-23 for Airborne.
Laurel Davidson was a consistent passer in the back row and was a powerhouse in the front row as a power hitter.
“Every girl brings something to the team and together they achieved a well-deserved bronze medal.”
This is the first time a U15 team in Port Alberni has placed at Islands. The team will be competing at the provincial championships May 1–2 in Abbotsford at the Tradex Centre.