Ladysmith Secondary School’s Grade 10 girls’ volleyball team had an undefeated regular season and a strong showing in the post-season, making it as far as the North Islands.
During the regular season, the 49ers did not lose any first sets, which are the ones that counted towards the standings, explained coach Non Hozempa.
Hozempa says the team started the season really strong.
“The year started off right away with a tourney at Vancouver Island University, where our initial goal was to get up to double digits in every set, but to our surprise, we ended up winning a set off Dover and Wellington,” he said. “We also made the team that won it the year before — St. Pats — sweat a little bit and won a game against Woodlands.”
Then, the 49ers went undefeated and went into the district tournament ranked first.
At the Districts, Hozempa says they had a tough first day, winning only one of three games, but they rallied the next day to beat Nanaimo District Secondary School and Aspengrove to make it to the finals. In the finals, Ladysmith lost a tough first set 28-26 and then lost the second set 25-17 to Wellington.
This second-place finish earned the 49ers a trip to the North Islands, where they suffered three tough losses on the first day against Brooks, Aspengrove and Vanier, ending their season.
“It was a season of proving ourselves wrong,” said Hozempa. “I do not think we gave ourselves enough credit at the start of the season, but that definitely changed by the end. By the end, the girls played with plenty of confidence and had a lot of fun. I think we turned a lot of heads during the season in terms of how other teams saw our team, and I believe Ladysmith will have a strong program going forward.”