The considerable skills of members of Belmont Secondary’s girls volleyball team were on display both on the beach and on the hardwood this summer.
Belmont Secondary coach Mike Toakley said the current group that won the provincial championship last year is impressive. “We have a half dozen players all coming through at the same time that are each exceptional,” he said. “It’s very difficult to make the provincial team for the Canada Games, and we had two Island players do that this year.”
Belmont’s Gracie May and her partner, Arden Copping, earned a silver medal at the Beach B.C. championship in August at Spanish Banks in Vancouver. Another Belmont player, Jocelyn Sherman, playing with Abby Willett from Reynolds Secondary, took home the bronze. “That was quite surprising considering it was Jocelyn’s first outing on the provincial stage,” he said. “She has picked up the beach game in a big hurry. She was a big part of last year’s junior team, helping us to a big upset in the Island championship.”
Meanwhile May and Copping followed up their silver medal performance in Vancouver with a ninth-place finish at the Seaside Tournament in Oregon. “That’s impressive when you consider that’s the biggest beach volleyball tournament,” Toakley said. “They lost in a tiebreaker to the second seed. Finishing ninth out of well over a hundred teams puts them in elite company.”
Belmont’s Savannah Purdy joined Erin Mutch from Oak Bay on Team B.C. for the Canada Summer Games, which took place July 28 to Aug. 13 in Winnipeg. They managed a victory against Prince Edward Island before getting knocked out of medal contention following defeats to Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia. “Team B.C. did manage to beat the gold medal winner, Manitoba, in the round robin,” Toakley added.