The 2019 Volleyball B.C. club provincial champion U16 Div. 1 boys from the Victoria Volleyball Association in Abbotsford on Sunday. The team will compete at nationals May 12 to 14. (Wendy Maffia photo)

Victoria U16 boys win volleyball club provincials

Team now heads to nationals May 12 to 14 in Toronto

It can take even the most talented teams a few big losses and low-placed tournament finishes to help them understand the importance of coming together as a team.

Such is story of the Victoria Volleyball Association’s U16 boys who had the pedigree – with some of the core having already won two club provincial championships before – but started slow during the club season this year.

The VVA U16 boys club team are born in 2003 and hail from across Greater Victoria, from Langford to Oak Bay.

The team truly came together at the right time, winning all three games in the tiebreaker to survive Day 1 at the recent club provincials in Abbotsford. On Day 2 they carried the momentum into the playoff round and eventually defeated Vancouver’s Apex Ignite 2-0 to win the gold medal.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay high school player sets new provincial record

They now have that gold medal in hand as they look back at their lessons learned, before looking forward to a top seeding at the upcoming 2019 Volleyball Canada Nationals in Toronto’s Enercare Centre (at the Exhibition grounds), May 12 to 14.

“It really is a talented group of boys who were finding their way since the first tournament when they placed 13th [in Langley],” said coach Jennifer Covelli. “Then they won a Victoria tournament, but soon were in the middle of the pack again.”

Individually, the team is loaded with talent and pedigree, with two players who’ve been together since winning the U13 provincial championship. More came on board to win the U14 championship and now have three provincial titles.

“These guys are the best, but they still had to find the leadership needed of them and have gelled the past two weeks,” Covelli said. “They were working hard to find themselves as a cohesive unit.”

The coach’s own son, Nando Covelli, was the starting setter until he injured his thumb in the first game on Sunday. That meant some shuffling as Cormac Brown stepped up at power and Lucas Maffia (Oak Bay High) was able to shift over to setter, a job he fulfilled seamlessly, the coach said.

All weekend the team adjusted and players did things they don’t usually do,” Covelli said. “They decided ‘Hey, we gotta do it now,’ and came together. On Sunday, they played flawlessly. They couldn’t have executed the skills as technically and as tactfully any better than they did, they were almost perfect.”

The 2019 VVA Black U16 team is Desmond Arthurs (St. Andrew’s), Nando Covelli (Pacific Christian), Cormick Brown (Lambrick Park), Shaun Schonert (Claremont), Aaron Finlay (St. Andrew’s), Lucas Maffia (Oak Bay), Kai Higuchi (Oak Bay), Andrew Simpson (Pacific Christian), Nate Heagle (Vic High) and Carson Schroeder (Mount Doug).

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

Horse carriage supporters to rally outside city hall

Owner of carriage company plans rally in response to Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion

Victoria woman competing for role as Maxim cover model

Winning model gets featured spread in magazine, cash price

Father of Saanich murder victim Lindsay Buziak set to appear on Dr. Phil show Friday

Jeff Buziak says he has not seen the show and does not know what to expect

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Christmas morning burglar sentenced on Vancouver Island

Justin Redmond Feusse, 20, sentenced to 240 days in jail for Dec. 25 break-and-enter

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Most Read