Young DCS players rise to the challenge

Hair-raising experience results for Duncan Christian School’s Olivia Bakker as she comes to the net guarded by Kirsten Purslow of Ladysmith. - Andrew Leong
Hair-raising experience results for Duncan Christian School’s Olivia Bakker as she comes to the net guarded by Kirsten Purslow of Ladysmith.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

Duncan Christian School senior girls’ volleyball team coach Mary Joan Visscher didn’t know what the effects would be of a potential season-ending injury to Chantal Bouchard.

A roster already thin in numbers was reduced to seven with the injury to Bouchard, who still hopes to be back in time for the island A playoffs. In the meantime, Visscher found the answer to a potential crisis for the team during the DCS senior girls’ invitational. Young players Brenna Bazinet and Danielle Groenendijk, who are only in Grade 9 and 8, respectively, have been like saviours.

“Everyone else knows their roles,’’ said Visscher. “These are two girls I’ve put in to play consistently and they have stepped up. You, as a team, have to learn to adjust to that and they did.’’

DCS placed third at its own tournament last Friday and Saturday in a tough field of 16 teams.

“I’m so excited with each of the players, but specifically these two,’’ said Visscher. “They’ve taken instruction well and they’ve absorbed everything I’ve wanted them to do.

“Without them we obviously wouldn’t be able to play and definitely we wouldn’t be as strong as we would be.’’

DCS won Pool B, defeating Queen Margaret’s 25-12, 25-19; Lions Gate 25-9, 25-18; and Ladysmith 25-15, 25-11.

The streak continued in the championship round as DCS beat Gulf Islands 25-22, 22-25, 15-6. The streak ended when DCS lost 23-25, 12-25 to Wellington but then the team bounced back to take third by virtue of a 25-14, 22-25, 15-11 decision over Campbell River Christian.

Langley Christian won the championship by sweeping Wellington 25-19, 25-13 in Saturday’s final. Frances Kelsey finished fifth, Cowichan seventh and QMS eighth.

Tournament all-stars included: Olivia Bakker of DCS, Agnes Esser of Kelsey, Carly Dirom of Cowichan and Nao Tada of QMS.

DCS heads to Campbell River next week for the island tournament. “Our goal is to just focus on (No.) 1 and play consistently,’’ said Visscher.

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