The Alberni Airborne have lifted off for another season.
The team is headed to Comox on March 8 for a play day tournament. But they’ve shaken the rust off and placed well at their own play day last weekend.
Airborne teams placed third and eighth in a nine-team play day hosted at the Alberni Athletic Hall on March 2. Other teams competing included Comox, Parksville, Nanaimo and Campbell River.
Alberni Airborne black earned third place behind the Comox Valley Strikers A and Campbell River Crush Red.
Coach Lindsay Devine singled out the play of several players in the win. Rebecca Donahue made amazing passes all day. Aimee Beaulac, Taylor Savard and Kaitlyn Roberts were the most consistent servers. And Maryna MacDonald and Laurel Davidson had several kills (spikes/hits).
Airborne red meanwhile placed eighth. Devine noted the play of Jordyn Miller and Briana Vermette, both of whom hustled, gave great effort and moved the ball quickly.
The Airborne normally plays as one team for tournaments like Islands, Provincials and Nationals. But coaches split the team into two on play days so players get more floor time.
“We had great rallies all day. Lots of very competitive games,” Devine said. “The girls have come a long way. We are really starting to see the passion for the game and the drive that is developing for many of the girls.”
Volleyball has raised its profile in community athletics. Three years ago there was barely anyone in the athletic hall stands when the teams played in tournaments there.
“But now I looked up into the stands and they were packed. It shows how much volleyball is growing in Port Alberni,” Devine said.
Alberni play day placings:
1st – Comox Valley Strikers A
2nd – Campbell River Crush Red
3rd – Alberni Airborne Black
4th – Comox Valley Strikers B
5th – PVC Bolt (Parksville)
6th – PVC Storm (Parksville)
7th – Nanaimo
8th – Alberni Airborne Red
9th – Campbell River Black