The Quesnel U15 Girls volleyball team played exceptionally well at the North Season Opener tournament Feb. 2-3 in Prince George, placing fourth in the tournament, losing a close game in the semifinal to last year’s regional champions, the Prince George Kodiaks Red U15 Girls.
Overall, the icebreaker was a success, as the team worked on all aspects of their game. Playing in the same pool as the eventual champions U15 Girls Kodiaks Red and U15 Boys Kodiaks Red provided the girls with exceptional competition. The round-robin pool’s games were played best of two sets, with the championship being best of three.
The U15 girls began the tournament splitting the sets against the U15 Boys 25-23, 13-25.
Their second pool match was against last year’s defending regional champions, the Prince George Kodiaks Girls Red team. Every point from serves, spikes and defensive digs was matched by both teams. Setters Laura Balkwell and Jessica Klics kept moving the ball continually using a variety of spikes that kept the Kodiaks front line guessing. The end result was in favour of the Kodiaks, who won 18-25, 21-25.
Finishing third in Pool D, the Quesnel girls had to take the long process to get to the semifinals, as they first crossed over with the third-place team from Pool D, the Prince George U15 Girls Kodiaks Black, and defeated the Prince George team in three sets, 19-25, 25-16, 15-6.
The squads were well matched, with Quesnel being the stronger offensive and serving team, which was the key to victory. The third set had Jessica Klics take the Cobras on a 8-0 lead, which carried the team to eventual victory.
With that victory, the Quesnel squad moved to the second bracket, matching up against Terrace, who were second in Pool D, on Sunday morning. Although Terrace had a bigger team with a height advantage and stronger servers, they couldn’t match up with the tight defence of the Cobras, who concentrated on being aggressive on offence. The Quesnel passers made it easier for the setters to use the attackers, leading the team to victory with scores of 25-14, 25-19.
The next match was the semifinals versus the familiar Prince George Kodiaks Red U15 Girls. The Kodiaks found a weakness in the Cobras defence and began picking it apart. With the score tied 15-15, the Kodiaks began chipping away at the Cobras, winning the first set 25-18.
The second set saw the Cobras calm down, and once again, the teams were playing point for point. Both teams were executing their offence, with the Kodiaks edging out Quesnel 26-24.
The Cobras would then play in the bronze medal match against a talented U14 Kodiaks Boys team, which may have seen the most exciting play of the tournament. It was a fast-paced game that came down to which team had the energy to finish after two long days of volleyball. The Cobras were defeated in two sets, 18-25, 21-25, settling for fourth place.
The Quesnel Cobras left the venue in high spirits knowing that they have solidified their presence as a team that is a contender for a regional championship and a provincial medal this year.
— Submitted by Amarjit Singh Sull, Quesnel Cobras Acting Weekend Coach