Cap's volleyball squad comes oh so close

“We’re happy with third – it’s definitely better than last year [a 4th place finish at provincials]. We’re happy to come away with a medal, but at the same time it's bittersweet, because we wanted the gold,” said Kristie Lum of the team’s third place finish at this year’s BCCAA provincial volleyball championships.

The talented Blues team was hoping for gold, but after a loss to rivals Vancouver Island University in the provincial semi-finals, they had to settle for bronze.

“It could have gone either way,” says third year libero Lum. “We played them twice in league, and two or three times in the preseason. I think it was pretty evenly matched. Whoever was going to show up on game day was going to take it, and unfortunately we didn’t show up the way we needed to. They didn’t do anything phenomenal, but they played better to win than we did.”

This year, the Blues finished with an exemplary 13-3 record in what Lum describes as “one of the strongest conferences in Canada.” This put them second only to an undefeated UBC Okanagan powerhouse during league play, a team which boasted three first team all-stars, the league MVP, rookie of the year, and coach of the year, and even from the start of the season stood between the Blues and the national championships.

“We were definitely hoping to get a better result and go to nationals, but all in all we look back and it was a really good season, and we’re coming back for the gold next year,” offered first team all-star Michelle Torresan.              

This focus on next year is also evident in conversation with Kristie. “I’m really excited for next year. It’s probably going to be my last year, so I am looking forward to finishing it off with a bang and going out on top...  [that] will be able to inspire some of the girls coming in, and lead us to something good.”

Although personnel changes for next season will be minimal, the Blues are going to miss captain, and first team all-star, Claire Fergusson. Collectively stepping into her shoes are a gang of 4th year players, including Lum, and Torresan. Joining them are 1st year middle Alicia Catalano, who Lum says “really stepped up, and was named to the all rookie team ... [She] was just was phenomenal.”

A strong recruiting class should shore up their remaining holes, as Lum continues, saying that “[In addition] we’ve got already three or four provincial players coming in that we know of, and hopefully they can fill the shoes of people that are leaving.”

For Kristie, the friendships forged on the team were the real success this season. “We were lucky on and off the court that we bonded as a team, and we gelled together. All six players really took on a role, and knew their role, and just kind of did it. I think that’s a part that I’m not ready to let go of yet – that’s why I’m coming back. There’s the game, but also the people that I’ve met along the way. I’m really excited for the team. The girls coming in, from what I know, are awesome. The people coming back are awesome, so I’m really looking forward to being able to do well with the team we have next year.”

// Colin May

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