The Riverside Secondary senior girls’ volleyball team had a season to remember this year. Although the season has come to an end, winning the top prize at provincials was the perfect way to finish off the season; the team brought home the gold!

This year marks the final year of school volleyball for many of the seniors who are in grade 12, and it was a year of growth. Emily Wezeman, a grade 12 Riverside student, and one of the two co-captains on the Riverside senior girls’ volleyball team commented that the season was bittersweet. “It’s been a really good season with a great team, but obviously I know that it’s my last season, so it’s been a little sad.”

With not having a season for the past two years, players such as Kyla Smith, a grade 12 Riverside student and player on the team, commented that it had been amazing to come back after two years. “Being able to play with all my best friends and people I consider my family…has been really good,” said Smith.

Overall, the team did exceptionally well, considering the non-existent season last year. The threat of provincials being cancelled due to flooding was luckily avoided, and the girls crushed the competition. The team fought hard this past weekend and they were able to take home the gold, placing first in province and beating their rival, the South Delta Sun Devils. “We fought so hard all season to get here, and I think this match really showed how much grit we have,” said Wezeman.

Grade 12, Ava Pocrnic, felt the same way as Wezeman. “We had some good competition this year which definitely helped us build our mental toughness.”

Coach and Riverside teacher Bryan Gee is very proud of his team. “This team knows how to win and come back and they’re just a very special group of young women.” The match went five sets with Riverside taking the first one 25 –17, losing the next two, but coming back to win set four, 26 – 24 and finishing off the whole match with last set 15 – 9. The girls endured three hours of blood, sweat and tears, but it was all worth it. The team is now three-time provincial champions, and the junior girls are looking forward to continuing the streak next year.

Winning provincials was the biggest highlight for the team, but there have been many other highlights from the past four months. Pocrnic said that the Red Surge tournament was a highlight of hers. She also mentioned winning the Fraser North championship was a night to remember. Other players such as Smith said her favourite memories were on the bench and car rides to away tournaments because it was time to bond with the team.

Senior night on November 25 was a highlight for the team as well. Lauren Way, a grade 12 Riverside student, and one of the two co-captains on the Riverside senior girls’ volleyball team says she remembers when she was in grade nine looking forward to senior night and how she couldn’t believe that it was her turn to experience it.

Smith mentioned the effort the junior girls put into senior night was awesome. “They went above and beyond our expectations,” said Smith. Pocrnic felt that the best part was their initial reactions to seeing the changeroom decorated. All the girls including Wezeman felt so special that night.

Congratulations to the senior girls for an awesome season, topping it off as champions!