For the second year in a row the Golden Secondary School (GSS) Eagles Senior Girls Volleyball Team will be competing against the best teams in the province of British Columbia.
The team recently returned after another successful weekend at the East/West Kootenay Championships according to the team’s head coach, Ron Ainslie.
“This year it had eight teams from across the East and West. Three of those teams were provincially ranked in the top 10. There was some hefty competition there. The girls played awesome and everything came together. We not only won but we also went undefeated over the two days,” Ainslie said.
The team is now preparing to head out to the provincial tournament where they have been ranked seventh in the province.
“This looks good for us heading into the provincials. The draw has come out and I think we have a strong chance to move forward and place very well,” Ainslie said.
The coach explained he is very excited for the team partially because many of the players are in their graduating year at Golden Secondary School.
Katelyn Oszust has been playing volleyball since grade six and will be one of the six players graduating from GSS this year. Winning the East/West tournamnet meant a great deal to the grade 12 student.
“I was so emotional. Both my parents were there and just seeing everyone’s expressions made me more emotional. It was amazing,” Oszust said.
The emotion of the moment was also felt by her teammate Shea Archibald-Lacasse. “I started crying because I was so excited,” Archibald-Lacasse.
As for making it back to the provincial tournament the girls are hoping to build off of the experience they gained as a group last year at the same tournament.
“We have worked harder this year which means we are in better condition,” said Oszust.
“It is really exciting to go back with basically the same team,” Archibald-Lacasse said.
The fact this will be the last time for many of the players to play together makes this tournament all the more special.
“I am so excited. It is such a good way to end the year. Six of us have played together since grade eight. It means so much because we are such close friends,” Oszust said.
“They have always been tight together as a group. It helps us out on the court. We play as one group not a bunch of separate people…I am going to miss them. It will be weird without them next year,” said Shea Archibald-Lacasse
Provincials are being held in Prince George on from December 1-3.
The group has been fundraising to get to the tournament. Ainslie said the support from the community so far has been overwhelming. Anyone wanting to help the team with its fundraising can contact the school directly.