The Mission Roadrunners senior girls volleyball team stumbled to start, but finished off strong at the AAAA provincials in Penticton to finish ninth in the province.
Mission opened the tournament with a 2-0 (17-25 and 22-25) loss to Riverside in the morning on Nov. 29, but then beat North Peace 2-0 (25-18 and 25-11) later that day. The club closed day one with a 2-0 (19-25 and 18-25) record to Belmont.
The Roadrunners finished pool play on Nov. 30 with a 2-0 (25-23 and 25-21) win over Burnaby North. The results left Mission with a 2-2 record and slotted them third in the pool heading into the playoffs.
Mission matched up with Lord Byng in the round of 16, but fell 3-1 (20-25, 25-22, 23-25 and 20-25). That loss ended the title hopes for the team, but from there Mission caught fire and started rolling off victories.
The Roadrunners beat Terry Fox 2-0 (25-11 and 25-14), South Delta 2-0 (25-23 and 25-22) and Maple Ridge 2-0 (25-22 and 26-24) to finish ninth overall in the province. It’s the second straight year that Mission has finished in the top 10, after finishing seventh overall in the AAAA in 2017.
Roadrunners head coach Andrew Hale said he was proud of the team’s efforts, especially after a poor start in pool play.
“The team built its level of play all weekend, and the team atmosphere was terrific and tear-filled as the girls won their final game of the season for the fourth year in a row,” he said.
“Makenzie Rourke and Sofia Kresse anchored the defence all weekend, Mo Likness and Sarah Reid led the offence, and Janelle Matthysen and Anna Kvist provided great senior leadership all weekend.”
Hale also praised international students Ramona Bruderer, Leandra Wirth and Sofia Kresse and thanked team moms Kristine Matthysen and Tanja Rourke.
He said next year should be another strong year for the program.
“Next year looks bright, as I return all but three of my girls and anticipate a strong and deep Grade 10 crew coming up to join us,” he said.
The regular season may be done for the team, but Hale said he and the girls are heading to China in March for an 11-day tour that will see them take on three high school teams and one college team.