Mission’s Jojo Calverley earned a Fraser Valley all-star nod, and hopes to continue her strong play at provincials. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Roadrunners head to provincials

Mission senior girls volleyball team hopes for medals

The Mission Roadrunners senior girls volleyball team heads to the big dance this weekend, hoping to ride the momentum from the club’s bronze-medal finish at the recent AAAA Fraser Valleys.

Mission has been slotted in Pool C for the Senior Girls AAAA Provincials, which opened on Thursday and run until Saturday at the Langley Events Centre.

The Roadrunners competed against Kelowna, North Peace and Handsworth on Thursday, and move on to the playoff rounds today (Friday).

Head coach Andrew Hale said he and the team feel good heading into the event.

“The team looks solid,” he said. “We’ve had a good couple weeks of practice and getting the fifth seed is a good deal for us. We’re in a tough pool but there really aren’t any easy pools when you get to this point.”

Mission’s opposition in pool play includes the third-ranked Handsworth, ninth-overall Kelowna and 15th-seeded North Peace. The Roadrunners entered the tournament ranked fifth in the province.

Hale said Mission has played Handsworth and North Peace this season at tournaments, falling to Handsworth and beating North Peace. He said they haven’t yet faced Kelowna, but pointed out they usually always have athletic teams and lots of fan support.

But he said he’s confident in the way his team plays, especially after a strong showing at the ultra-competitive Fraser Valleys a few weeks back.

“We can field a pretty strong seven- or eight-person lineup,” he said.

“We have the one big banger in Kristen [McBride] but everyone else can also hit it. When we’re going, we run a really varied offence. We can also serve as well as anyone in the province, and if we do that and run a varied offence then I think we’re going to be tough to beat.”

Hale said the girls are excited to head back to the provincials and are looking to improve on their fifth-place seeding and hopefully bring home a medal.

McBride will be one of the players to watch for the team at provincials, but Hale said he has been impressed with several other Roadrunners.

“Makenzie Rourke’s play has been really solid for us and she’s doing exactly what she needs to do,” he said. “And it was well-deserved that Jojo [Calverley] was named an all-star at Valleys.”

Seniors Katelyn Bligh and Ashley Bains will also be relied upon at provincials to provide leadership and experience for the club. Medal games for the event go down on Saturday afternoon. Read the Mission City Record online for more coverage.

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