The senior girl’s volleyball team is ready for action this season with very high hopes. Will they go all the way? Coach Jordan Thies sure thinks so.

Riverside Secondary School is known for its success in female sports. Led by Thies, the senior girls volleyball team is no exception. They only have one goal in mind… to win provincials. Thies and the team are ready to work hard to carry on the tradition of a powerhouse girl’s team.

After going undefeated in League Play (the regular season match-ups), ranking top 10 in Quad A in the province, and top 5 in the Fraser Valleys, confidence is high for this team. The team consists of four grade 11’s, two of which played on the junior team last year, and one who trained with the team, but unfortunately was ineligible to play. The last of the grade 11’s is an exchange student from Italy, Letizia Torri, otherwise known by her catchy nickname, “Letti.” She is fitting into the team nicely, and it’s going to be a different change of scenery not only for her, but the whole team. “In Italy there’s a full year club team,” said Torri. “We don’t have any school teams and there are two seasons, a winter and summer season. The team is always the same, and in Italy, I played on three teams, so it was all the time, volleyball, volleyball, volleyball.” Torri explains that she contacted Mr. Gee who put her in touch with Mr. Thies, and he told them that she was more than welcome to tryout for the team. Once she made the team, Torri described how great it is to play for Riverside. “There is a lot of team joy. Everyone is about the team and no one is selfish. It’s very different from Italy.” Each player brings something special to the table, and will make a significant positive impact on the team.

The girls from Italy: Letizia Torri – Senior A on the left and Sofia Foresio – Senior B on the right.

Team chemistry is vital to winning in general, and Thies is thoroughly satisfied with the roster. There are so many talented seniors, so the team was split into two, with Thies coaching the ‘Tier One’ team. There is also the ‘Tier Two’ team, which is composed of about five grade 10’s, six grade 11’s, and a grade 12 student, also from Italy, Sofia Foresio. Foresio also contacted Riverside the same way Torri did to get into the Riverside’s girl’s volleyball program. “Here the competition is between teams, not between players on a team,” said Foresio. The Riverside team is very encouraging and selfless, and Torri and Foresio very much enjoy the change. Most of the Tier Two team is mixed grades and Foresio is one of the members. Most high schools do not have two senior teams, but because there were so many skilled players, the team was divided into two. Some Tier Two teams that Riverside faced off against are Pitt Meadows, Pinetree and Gleneagle. The Tier Two team has a total of 12 players on the roster, and the Tier One team has 14, which is quite a large amount due to the high level of talent. “Structure wise in terms of the team, they’re more experienced, and we’ll see if that will take us deeper,” Thies said. He thinks experience will give them an edge in the difficult competition that Riverside will face in their upcoming games.

While winning provincials is the ultimate goal this season, it will not be easy. But Thies is confident. “I’m going do my part to prepare the girls as much as possible, and I think we have a great chance, but we have to get there and right now we’re just focusing on the game ahead,” said Thies.

Riverside had an outstanding victory against Heritage Woods on October 25 where the girls won every game. Terry fox, which is undoubtedly their hardest match-up, occurs on November 1 at home. The winner of that match up wins the regular season and moves on to the Fraser Valleys, so a win is highly anticipated. The major tournament of the season, the Red Serge is on November 3. Their first game is on the Friday against Belmont, who is currently first place, and the girl’s are looking to dethrone them. The game is being played on center court at 12:45pm, so don’t miss it Rapids! Riverside’s record in the tournament will dictate their Fraser Valley and Provincial rankings. Only the Tier One team will be participating, however. The tournament will give Riverside a chance to compete against some of the best teams in the province, but for now the team is just taking it one game at a time. Rip em’ up Rapids!

2018 Senior Girls Volleyball Roster (Tier One): Letizia Torri, Keimi Cuellar, Adrienne Willems, Talia Vandersluys, Tessa Burton, Jessica Dietz, Jamie Purdy, Lauren Trudeau, Caitlin Shyng, Anasha Thomas, Tiana Brennan, Sarah Lilley, Capri Campardo, and Sophia Wong