Whitehorse Daily Star

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BRINGING HOME BRONZE – The Subzero 15U girls pose with their bronze medals at the B.C. Provincials in Abbotsford May 1.

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ON THE BEACH – The Subzero 15U girls sharpen their skills at beach volleyball at Kitsilano Beach in Vancouver following the B.C. provincials May 1.

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GO SUBZERO – The Subzero 15U boys pose for a pic May 1 at the B.C. Provincials in Abbotsford.

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HAPPY TEAM – The Subzero 14U girls pose for a pic on April 24 at the B.C. Provincials in Abbotsford.

Subzero volleyball teams compete in B.C. provincials; 15U girls bring home bronze

Four Subzero Volleyball Club teams recently competed in the Volleyball B.C. Provincial Championships in Abbotsford, B.C.

By Photo Submitted on May 12, 2022

Four Subzero Volleyball Club teams recently competed in the Volleyball B.C. Provincial Championships in Abbotsford, B.C.

The 14U girls team played Apr. 22-23 and included 12 players from grades 7 and 8. Under Head Coach Jennifer Bruemmer, some teammates have been playing together for three years, but B.C. Provincials was their first out-of-territory competition.

After training through the pandemic, it was a wonderful experience and an excellent opportunity for players to measure up against their counterparts down south. In Division 4 pool play, the team finished day one of the competition in a three-way tie for second place. The playoff round offered much excitement.

The team went to a tie-breaker in each match and lost a nail biter 16-18 in their final game of the tournament against the Sunshine Coast Volleyball Club’s 14Us.

The Subzero 15U boys played Apr. 29-Apr. 30 and had 11 players from grade 9, with representation from each of the Whitehorse high schools.

After placing fourth in pool play during the preliminary round, the boys won three of four matches in the play-offs to finish fifth in Division 2 Tier 1.

Their only loss during the play-offs went to three sets and ended in a 13-15 defeat to 604, a team that beat them the day before, also in a tie breaker, 12-15.

The 604 team went on to earn the gold medal in Division 2. The final match against Focus Fury was a highlight.

The score in the first set was 22-25. The boys came back to win the next two sets 28-26 and 15-13. This shows how close the Subzero team was in terms of performance level compared to the other Division 2 teams.

The two-day tournament was a great introduction to competition play.

The cohort only has fifteen athletes in the age group here in Whitehorse, so out-of-territory travel is extremely important for their long-term development. The team was coached by Taylor Phillips and Nate Bingham.

The Subzero 16U boys also played Apr. 29 to Apr. 30 and was comprised of players from grades 10 and 11. The team really enjoyed their B.C. Provincials tournament experience since the pandemic kept them from traveling for two years. They won a match in each of the preliminary and playoff rounds.

All but one of the six matches they played went to a tie breaker third set. It was the first time playing in such a large tournament for all but two players, so the result was exceptional. Coach Frank Oblak commented that in true team sport fashion, the players were extremely supportive of each other.

The 15U girls team came home with a bronze medal in Division 4. This team, too, played Apr. 30 to May 1 and had 11 players from grade 9, with representation from F.H. Collins, Porter Creek Secondary School, and Vanier Catholic Secondary School.

Winning a medal during the first out-of-territory volleyball competition for the girls has set a high standard for the future. Many of the teams in the competition had played in four or more competitions this year, so the team’s preparation playing in-house tournaments and inter-club games really helped them prepare for this competition.

The girls did not let their third-place finish during the preliminaries become an obstacle to advancing during the higher stakes playoff games. Coach Caroline Holway attributes the bronze medal win to the team’s strong cohesiveness, focus on process rather than outcome, and genuine excitement in each other’s successes.

After losing the first set of the bronze medal match 20-25, the girls came back and fought to win the next two sets 25-23 and 15-10 against the Focus Firehawks from Burnaby.

Play didn’t finish with Provincials. In preparation for the Subzero beach season, the girls also took part in a beach clinic at Kitsilano Beach the next day with New Wave founder Matt Krueger, assistant coach for the Canadian Senior Women's National Team, and coach Gabe Burlacu, a member and independent athlete with Team Canada Beach Volleyball.

Congratulations to all Subzero athletes who participated in the Volleyball B.C. Indoor Provincial Championships! The club is very proud of the teams’ performance levels as evidenced by the number of games that required a third tie breaker set.

Providing an avenue for players to support each other and display excellent sportsmanship made the B.C. Championships a remarkable event.

–Submitted by Caroline Holway

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