Volleyball at Cariboo Adventist Academy in Williams Lake has seen a bump in popularity, and success, this season.
Cody Mills, athletic director with CAA, travelled with the school’s junior volleyball team of boys and girls in grades 9s and 10s to the Canadian Adventist School Athletics Junior Volleyball Tournament in Burnaby Feb. 8-9. There, the team exceeded all expectations to play their way to the gold medal.
In all, eight schools took part in the tournament.
In the final, Mills said the team took on the hosts, Deer Lake School, in front of about 250 of their own supporters in the bleachers.
“The kids blocked it out pretty well, and it was a very close game,” he said. “It went down to the third and final set, where we won 15-11. The previous two sets were 25-20, so really close games, and it was exciting for the kids. Since I’ve been here we haven’t won anything and we’ve put a lot of time into our volleyball program. We’ve had a couple silvers in the past but we hadn’t won a gold yet, so they were pretty pumped to be the ones to do it.”
Mills said the school’s season is a little different than the public school volleyball season. Cariboo Adventist Academy runs a senior season in the fall, then its junior season of Grade 9-10 athletes, which just wrapped up, through the winter.
“It was just an awesome group,” he said of the team. “I’ve been running this program for five years now and as far as the junior level goes this was the most invested group of kids I’ve seen.”
Mills also noted the rules state at least two girls are required to be on the court at any give time, however, his team was playing four girls and two boys most times.
En route to the championship CAA lost just one game prior to playoffs, then played through the back side of the draw to reach the final where they were able to avenge their loss versus Deer Lake.