A pair of Quesnel Junior School students set and spiked their way to first place in the U14 division at the Northern BC High School Open Beach Volleyball Tournament in Prince George last weekend (June 9).
Norah McKinnon and Laura Balkwill, both 14, played five games on the sand courts, finishing with a record of 4-1 and winning a gold medal each.
Balkwill says the duo, who are great friends off the courts, have been playing volleyball since Grade 5 but just started getting competitive this year.
She says they play indoor as well, but beach is a lot of fun.
“I like that it’s two-on-two and that you can dive a lot easier in the sand,” she said.
Her partner McKinnon points out some of their competition was significantly more seasoned.
“There were some girls there who have been playing since Grade 4 or Grade 3 competitively, so I think they had a lot more game experience,” she says. “And some of them were like a foot taller than us and they’ve been playing in provincials and tournaments all over Prince George and B.C. for quite a few years.”
Balkwill notes that in order to prevail, they had to rely on crisp communication, and McKinnon agrees.
“I think we always got the three hits in and communicated well,” she says. “Instead of just putting the ball back over, we played smart and put it in the right place.”
It did not hurt that their serving was particularly good that day, as well.
With the win in the books, they look forward to joining local club team, the Quesnel Cobras, and continuing their success.