The Alberni Airborne Volleyball Club didn’t place high in their home tourney standings but they placed first in heart and effort, first-year coach Lindsay Devine said.
The Airborne hosted a 13-team play day at AW Neill Middle School and the Alberni Athletic Hall last Sunday. Teams came from Campbell River, Comox, Nanaimo and Victoria.
The U15 Airborne placed third out of six teams and the U 14 club placed sixth out of seven teams.
While the Airborne didn’t look as sharp as the more established clubs there were positive signs of a good program to come.
“The girls really came together as a team and stuck with the system we’re trying,” Devine said. “And I saw an improvement in the team’s serving.”
There are 12 girls on the U15 team and nine girls on the U14 squad. The girls come from both AW Neill and EJ Dunn middle schools. But the groundwork they are laying will serve them well once they get to the high school, Devine said.
AW Neill principal Julie Anderson and teacher Jelena Dyer have been building the volleyball program from the ground up for the last three years.
The sport may not receive the attention that basketball does, but there are similarities.
Girls basketball languished for two decades before teacher Laurie Hudson started a community development league, the players of which eventually benefited the high school. The results five years later are two appearances at the AAA Island Championships.
The plan with volleyball is to begin establishing a program at the middle school level. “That’s where club teams really start building skills and game strategy,” Devine said.