Jessica Lane and Renata Baldwin of the Mount Doug Rams look to defend the junior girls Island volleyball championships at Mount Doug this week.

Island Jr. volleyball championships go through Mount Doug

Mount Douglas Rams junior volleyball host Island championship at Mount Doug on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21 to 22.

When you’ve been on the same team as long as Jessica Lane and Renata Baldwin have, you get to know your teammates.

And you get to know what to expect from each other.

The Mount Douglas Rams junior volleyball team are gearing up to defend their 2013 Island championships as hosts of the 2014 junior girls Island championship at Mount Doug on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21 to 22.

That the Rams are the favourite is a given, seeing as they won the tournament as a cast of Grade 9 players last year.

As a team composed entirely of Grade 10 girls, there is little room for doubt. But you wouldn’t know it from the players  who jovially set up the court for a recent practice.

“We’re a pretty close team, we’ve bonded really well because we’ve known each other so long, some us were on the same team going back to Grade 5,” Lane said.

The goal this week is to win the Island championship again and improve on the team’s 11th overall finish at provincials from last year, she added.

The team’s history is taking on a life of its own, as they’ve compiled a long list of achievements.

The group of Gordon Head kids double as a team – player for player – in the Victoria Volleyball Association, which is the jersey they were wearing when they won silver at the 2013 Western Nationals and won the last four Island club championships for their age group.

“Most of us came from Arbutus middle school and a few others are from Gordon Head middle school,” said Baldwin. “Having the Islands here, it’s big motivation to have our friends and family at the games.”

As expected, the Rams were a force in the regular season, going undefeated in the A pool without dropping a single set (the upstart Spencer middle school girls came the closest).

There was talk of bumping the Rams to the senior level this year but because they slipped to 11th at last year’s provincials, they decided to stay at the junior level, said coach Shawn Boulding, Mount Doug’s principal.

“This group of Grade 10 girls is very unique, a special group to work with. They are wonderful individually and best friends off the court as well – inseparable but at the same time very welcoming and open to new teammates.”

It’s lightning in a bottle for Mount Doug, which has seen its share of ups and downs at the senior level. Getting an entire team from Arbutus and Gordon Head middle schools is rare, as those schools produce a third of the school’s 1,100 or so students.

The Rams also have a second team, Rams B,  made up of Grade 9 players. It also played the regular season schedule in the city’s top division and finished middle of the pack.

It’s all part of a level excitement around the sport at Mount Doug, said Baldwin.

“You can see volleyball growing. Football is still huge at Mount Doug, but it’s not just hear it’s across the Island, volleyball is growing.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Playful pooches take over Bullen Park for free event Saturday, Sunday

Ninth annual Pet-A-Palooza featured a mud run, weiner dog races, puppy stampede and more

Victoria’s Other Secret not so secret anymore

How six Mount Doug teachers turned a lunch jam into $11,000 raised for charity

PHOTOS: Inside the opening of the expanded Westhills Stadium

The grand opening of the expanded stadium in Langford is on schedule for Aug. 24

Take your opportunity to sing at the Royal Theatre

Great Canadian Sing debuts Sept. 8 with inspirational music, talented performers, singalong format

Award-nominated Snotty Nose Rez Kids headline Indigifest 2019 coming to Victoria

Scheduled for Aug. 24, the event is a showcase of Indigenous musicians from around B.C.

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Most Read