They knew their opponents would be a major hurdle to clear, those Charles Hays Rainmakers.
As Terrace’s Caledonia (CAL) senior girls’ volleyball Kermodes walked into the gymnasium on Saturday afternoon, the ’Makers prepared to face off against the AAA provincially-ranked seventh Kermodes – reputably the toughest team in the Northwest.
And the Kermodes wasted little time getting down to business against the Rainmakers (CHSS), who fought valiantly, but fell in a best-of-five match CAL-CHSS: 25-14, 25-12, 25-13 in the Northwest AAA senior girls zones championship.
“I think we played really good. Way better than when we started the season off and we stuck together no matter what the score was, so it was good overall,” said CHSS team captain Tanveen Randhawa after the game.
Randhawa and Suttira Johansen had some of the squad’s best service game on the day as Johansen’s jump serve found its mark more times than not.
Jenny Huynh’s no quit on the ball showed on many occasions as the tread marks on her jersey would attest and Ashtyn Andreesen and Morgan Weir provided steady leadership on the front row in the attack zone.
The smaller Henzle Masocol played larger than her frame would suggest as her spikes gained the Rainmakers a few points here and there, but the Kermodes’ power and speed were extremely hard to stop.
Caledonia’s Brooklynn Fekete’s accuracy on her serve was lethal, as was Carly Davies and Cassidy Kitchen in the attack zone, whose tall statures and teamwork had the ‘Makers reeling as the match wore on.
“I think it was their deep serves, their hard serves that caught us off guard,” said Randhawa.
“We couldn’t get the pass up so we couldn’t get hits over but yeah, they had really good hits and they covered well.”
It was the defensive zone where the Kermodes preyed on the ‘Makers, as Charlotte Kobza and Tanveen Sadhra led the charge on the back end on the team’s rotating positional play.
The awarded all-stars on Saturday went to Caledonia’s Kitchen, Khali Pelletier and Preet Bath.
For the Rainmakers, Johansen, Randhawa and Weir took the honours.
Davies took tournament MVP, as it seemed there wasn’t a spike, block or pass she couldn’t pull off the entire day, and whose service game was imposing and deadly.
Despite the loss, Randhawa said the group came such a long way from even before the school season started until zones.
“We got really close together. Our passes got a lot better and our hits and serves improved,” she added.
“You can sure tell [Terrace] puts a lot of time into practicing during the season and the fact that they have a club system that allows them to play all year is very evident,” said Rainmakers coach Jacqueline Jackson.
“I am proud of the CHSS team for, as the cliche goes, “leaving it all on the court”. Our cheer has been “SAMA” all season which is, in a loose translation, Tagalog for unity or togetherness … One of our goals this season was, no matter what, to stay together and work hard for each other. I think we proved that this season,” said Jackson.
The Kermodes will now advance to provincials in Parksville.
Meanwhile, the CHSS Rainmakers junior girls volleyball squad competed in the ‘B’ zone finals in Hazelton on the weekend and secured four straight wins, including the zones championship versus Hazelton.
With three straight game wins, the junior girls captured the finals and brought home the ‘B’ championship.
Jackson and the team wanted to thank all the fans who made it to the senior boys’ game two weeks ago and the senior girls’ game last week.
“It’s so nice to see the fans returning to volleyball. With volleyball being such a momentum sport, the energy that a loud crowd can bring is priceless,” she said.
In terms of next year’s crop, Jackson is optimistic for a bright future.
“With so many Grade 11 players along with our Grade 10 setter next year, we look forward to a strong season of growth. We’ll continue in the spring with developmental camps so that we can be more confident on the court when our play takes us around the zone to Prince George and Hawaii for a Thanksgiving tournament,” she said.
Jackson also thanked sponsor teacher Brian Cameron for his tireless work on social media, keeping everyone in the department and friends and family updated.
Set to graduate from the senior girls team are Randhawa, Andreesen, Weir and Jenelle Reece.