The Semiahmoo Totems celebrate after capturing the BC high school boys AAA volleyball championship at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press The Semiahmoo Totems celebrate after capturing the BC high school boys AAA volleyball championship at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press

Semiahmoo Totems top Mount Baker Wild in thrilling five-set final

Semiahmoo defeats top-seed from Cranbrook to capture gold at BC AAA boys volleyball final at Langley Events Centre

In the end, the championship experience of the Semiahmoo Totems came through.

The Totems won the first two sets 25-21 and 25-22 of the gold-medal match of the BC high school volleyball AAA championships on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.

So when the Mount Baker Wild — the tournament’s top seed — came roaring back with 25-18 and 25-12 victories to force a fifth and deciding game, the Totems were able to draw on last year’s experience, when they captured the provincial banner.

“You know sometimes you see the light at the end of the tunnel and think it’s the sun? Well it was a train,” said Semiahmoo coach Michael Sapic.

The coach said he didn’t even let his players to the bench after the one-sided fourth set.

All he told them was that the first four sets didn’t matter and that at the start of the season, they would have gladly accepted the chance to play in the fifth set of the gold-medal game.

The teams were tied at six in that decisive set, but the Totems scored nine of the final 15 points to win 15-12.

“I just told myself and my team to stay calm,” said Semiahmoo’s Mike Dowhaniuk, who earned his second consecutive most outstanding player award.

“Just do what we have done all year and play Semiahmoo volleyball and it worked out in the end for us.”

The Totems were seeded ninth for provincials after placing third at the Fraser Valley championships and Dowhaniuk said their semifinal loss at that tournament was a good wake-up call for the team.

Semiahmoo was second in their pool after going 2-1 on the first day of provincials. They then beat Kelowna 3-0 in the round of 16, won 3-1 over Penticton in the quarter-finals and 3-0 over Earl Marriott in the semifinals.

Mount Baker went 3-0 on the first day before winning 3-1 over Reynolds, 3-0 over Elgin Park and 3-0 over Seaquam on their way to the championship final.

“Coming out, the boys were playing a little scared,” admitted Wild coach Karley Ferner. “The first two sets, giving them those two, obviously didn’t help, but they weren’t playing with confidence — they were playing a little bit scared, they were swinging a little scared.

“Once they got through that, they were pretty unstoppable for a while.”

The Wild’s second-place finish matched their result from 2001, a best-ever for the program.

“We knew we had the talent. It’s a good finish — it’s bittersweet, we are really happy to get number two but of course, you want the win. But they put the work in and accomplished what they wanted to do,” Ferner said.

Mount Baker’s Quinn Grist and Caleb Peters were named first team all-stars while Semiahmoo’s Tyler Buchanan and Adam Paige were also named to the team.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Semiahmoo Totems’ Mike Dowhaniuk runs into a wall of Mount Baker Wild blockers — Caleb Peters (#3), Sheldon Thomas (#11) and Dawson Atwood (#6) — during the gold medal game of the BC high school AAA boys championship final at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 2. Greg Laychak Black Press

Mount Baker’s Riley Byman sets the attack for his team during the BC high school boys AAA gold medal game at the Langley Events Centre against the Semiahmoo Totems on Dec. 2. Greg Laychak Black Press

Just Posted

Victoria Women’s Expo showcases the latest trends

Over 100 vendors feature lots of beauty, health, food, jewelry products and more

Songhees Wellness Centre event immersed in indigenous cuisine and culture

Camosun and Songhees cook together for reconciliation while fundraising for student scholarship fund at March 23 event

‘Killer’ teaches boxing basics

Step-by-step moves can be practised at home

Roses – for beauty and bees

For decades I’ve envied my sister’s ability to grow stunning roses. She… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read