Roadrunners seniors (l-r) Kristen McBride, Ashley Bains and Jojo Calverley are set to lead the charge for the seniors girls volleyball team at next week’s AAAA Fraser Valley tournament. (not pictured: senior Katelyn Bligh) / BEN LYPKA Photo

Roadrunners seniors (l-r) Kristen McBride, Ashley Bains and Jojo Calverley are set to lead the charge for the seniors girls volleyball team at next week’s AAAA Fraser Valley tournament. (not pictured: senior Katelyn Bligh) / BEN LYPKA Photo

Provincial dreams for girls volleyball

Senior players lead Mission Roadrunners to eighth overall ranking

The Mission Roadrunners senior girls volleyball team will look to use any advantage possible to keep their strong season going when they host the AAAA Fraser Valley tournament starting on Tuesday.

The team’s secret weapon? It could be the giant beam located in the middle of the Mission Secondary gym.

“It’s hands down our blocker,” quipped Roadrunners senior star Kristen McBride, before Monday’s team practice.

Jokes aside, the 2017 Roadrunners senior girls team has a chance to do something special next week. For the first time in recent memory, Mission hosts the Valleys and it could be the first step for the team to provincial glory.

The team finished first in the AAAA Fraser Valley Tier 1 East standings with a record of six wins and one loss. They also impressed against top competition at tournaments around the province. They finished second at the Camosun Chargers senior girls tournament in Victoria back in October, third at the Timberline Secondary tournament and fifth place at both the Handsworth and Trinity Western University events.

“The team has really been strong all year and we’ve either beaten or competed against nearly every top team in the province,” said the team’s head coach Andrew Hale. “We recognized last year that we had something special when we finished 13th and we had a lot of the same players coming back.”

The team heads into the tournament ranked eighth in the province, and Hale said a big part of that success is due to his four seniors – McBride, Ashley Bains, Jojo Calverley and Katelyn Bligh.

“All four of them are really great leaders and have played and excelled at some of the highest levels in B.C.,” he said. “We’re a deep team, but they’re all committed and most of them play club volleyball or, if they don’t, they play another sport.”

The four seniors have shared the court since Grade 8, and said they relish the role of leaders.

“I think when we’re on the court everyone kind of looks up to us,” Bains said. “If we get down and upset that could get the whole team down. But if we stay positive and up, everyone else will.”

McBride said everyone from last year’s team has made significant improvements this year, and Bains said hard work and camaraderie have helped the Roadrunners excel.

The girls said the leadership program at Hatzic Middle School has helped build volleyball in Mission.

“When we were at Hatzic, the leadership program got us all involved and you really learn skills outside of the game like refereeing that are transferable to other places,” Bains said. “Everyone was a part of it and it really helped us love the game.”

Hale agreed that the grassroots popularity of the sport has been growing in Mission.

“I know the Hatzic program has big time helped to get people involved,” he said. “The elementary programs are really strong out here. Mission has a great history of volleyball – it just took some people to get it going again.”

Hale said it’s a huge advantage to host the tournament.

“I think the girls are excited and it’s a plus getting to sleep in their own beds,” he said.

“It’s going to be really nice not to have to drive for a few hours,” added Calverley.

“The school is super supportive and we’re going to have a big crowd and have all that energy,” Bains said. “It’s going to be super exciting.”

Mission opens the tournament on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against the winner of the play-in game between Maple Ridge and Gleneagle.

A win on Tuesday would essentially punch the Roadrunners’ ticket to the provincials.

The tournament continues on Wednesday, with the gold and bronze medal games occurring on Thursday.

Just Posted

/  Bob Friesen Photos
PHOTOS: Father’s Day Parade cruises through Mission

Taking It To The Streets event featured about 100 vintage vehicles

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Agassiz toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read