The Charles Hays Secondary School (CHSS) senior girls volleyball team are headed to provincials after beating Smithers on Nov. 18.
“It doesn’t feel real. I’m trying to pretend that this isn’t our last tournament in this gym,” said Emily Cavin, who will graduate along with several members of the team this year. “I’ve never seen a zones finals this close with so many comebacks on both sides.”
The Rainmakers won in three tightly contested sets 26-24, 25-19 and 25-23. The team leaned on solid serving and tough defence to win against a talented and well organized Smithers team that brought a higher level of play than CHSS was used to playing. Cavin said the team’s goal going into the game was to play without hesitation, cover the court the best they could and communicate well.
“I was so proud of how we were able to adjust to that, and how we limited our hesitation,” she said.
In the match’s first game, the Rainmakers were able to take a 19-10 lead before, Smithers went on a 13-4 run to tie the game 23-23. Despite giving up the lead and being down a game point, the Rainmakers were able to come back and win the game’s last three points.
“They were really hustling,” said Melissa Chu, one of the team’s coaches. “They knew they had to go really hard right away.”
In both the second and third games, CHSS fell behind early, rallying both times to win.
“You could tell they really wanted it because there were bodies all over the floor,” said Karina, another coach with the team. “There was a lot of excitement, it was contagious, it was great to watch and it was great to be a part of.”
The team will now prepare for provincial competition in two weeks, where they will play against some of the best competition B.C. has to offer. The coaches all agreed that the Rainmakers will have to work hard to compete against more talented teams who won’t make many mistakes on the court.
“It’s going to be tough, but we just have to play hard like we did today,” said coach Sandy Le.