It was a dark, dark journey.
But Ladysmith Secondary School’s senior girls volleyball team survived and qualified for the Island AA championships last weekend in Nanaimo.
The Nov. 11-12 qualifying tourney at Kwalikum Secondary School was thrown for a loop Friday when a windstorm knocked the power out during the tournament’s opening games.
Two hours later, after the power had still not returned, organizers gave the top-seeded Brentwood and Highland teams byes into the Islands, and told the other five teams to return the next day for a marathon session of volleyball.
The mission for the 49ers was simple: win twice and move on.
Augmented by a pair of junior call-ups, the shorthanded squad opened well, up-ending Gulf Islands 25-14 and 25-23. It then just missed punching its ticket to the Islands in the second match, losing a 17-15 extra-point tiebreaker after splitting the first two sets to the host squad.
But an exciting 25-15 and 25-22 game-three win against a tired Woodlands squad assured Ladysmith’s spot in the final eight and matched it up against Shawnigan.
Shawnigan won 25-19, 25-21 giving the ‘Niner girls the fifth North Island seat for this weekend’s upcoming Islands at Woodlands Secondary School.