The 15U girls team at nationals earlier this month. Submitted

Strong volleyball culture contributes to Fernie club’s success

Three youth teams make nationals; club to introduce outdoor volleyball this summer

Three youth volleyball teams have returned to the Elk Valley after representing the region on the national stage.

From May 9-11, the 15U Girls Fernie Volleyball Club (FVC) team joined over 160 other teams from across the country at the 2019 Volleyball Canada Nationals in Edmonton, Alta.

FVC president Dennis Staples said the team had a solid performance over the weekend, finishing with four wins and two losses after two days of round robin pool play.

This earned them a place in the Division 3, Tier 1 quarter final.

“Although they lost the quarter final to a tough team from Manitoba, they had a terrific season overall, improving dramatically over their performance at nationals in 2018,” said Staples.

The 14U Girls were also able to register for nationals this year after competing at the provincial level. They travelled to Richmond Olympic Oval, along with the 13U Girls team, which got a late invite as an underage team.

Eighty teams from Manitoba to B.C. took part in the 14U Girls competition from May 9-12, and the Fernie team finished with four wins and two losses after two days of round robin pool play.

Staples said the team narrowly missed out on a medal with an overall fourth place finish in Division 3, Tier 1.

“Highlights included a well played win on Friday over local rivals East Kootenay Volleyball Club Avalanche Blue out of Kimberley,” he said.

“Congratulations to all players and coaches for a great season.” During the competition, the Fernie 13U Girls had a chance to test their skills against older teams and to prepare for 14U Nationals next year.

They played six games on Friday and Saturday, winning three and losing three. They made it through to the Div 3, Tier 2 quarter finals on Sunday but were unfortunately defeated.

Staples, who is also head coach of U13 Girls, said highlights for the team included meeting members of Canada’s women’s national team, who train out of the Olympic Oval.

It’s the second year three FVC teams have attended nationals. Staples put their success down to a strong volleyball culture in Fernie and the Elk Valley.

“A few very keen and dedicated coaches started to offer more grassroots, and skill development programs at younger ages five or so years ago and that has led to players who are further along and better understand the fundamentals and flow of the game when they get to an age where they start to be part of competitive teams,” he said.

Now that the indoor season is over, many players from across all FVC teams will continue working on their game during the spring and summer leading up to the fall school volleyball seasons. This will mean dedicated volleyball camps for some, with camps to be held locally in Fernie and Jaffray in late July and August, while other players will travel to various locations in Western Canada and the U.S.

FVC will host two camps: on July 29-31 for girls and boys going into Grades 4 and 5 in September and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on August 6-9 for girls and boys going into Grades 6 to 12 in September.

The The Jaffray Elementary Jr. Secondary School will also host a camp from August 19-22. FVC’s core competitive programs run from January to mid-May with tryouts usually held in early December.

“As the FVC continues to grow, we are introducing new programs that support volleyball at different ages and abilities throughout the year,” said Staples.

FVC is also working on a new program to facilitate outdoor volleyball in a fun and casual environment over summer.

“Think outdoor grass courts, good music, a cooler of cold drinks for after as you hang out with your friends,” said Staples.

The program will run in July and August with weekly sessions for both youth and adult players.

Email for more information about youth camps and how to register. To find out more about Fernie Volleyball Club, visit, follow FVC on Facebook/Instagram or email

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The 15U girls team. Back row: Eden Ostoforoff, Alyah Tattersall, Alisia Dvorak, Anna Loewen, Clara Traverse, Lauryn Sims and Brooke Demmings. Front row: Mataya Canlas, Hanaka Ogura, Hannah Halley and Morgan Trand. Missing: Annaliese Nelson. Submitted

The 14U team outside Richmond Olympic Oval. From left: Assistant Coach Nicole Leckenby, Kylie Pereverzoff, Cayley Blackburn, Audrey Sims, Jordyn Labelle, Riley Miller, Sadie Leech, Charlie Leckenby, Sydney Polacik, Head Coach Maren Esch. Missing: Olivia Sombrowski, Madison McDonald, Rose Kloepzig, Saige Shade. Submitted

The 13U team. Back row: Summer Musschoot, National Team Player, Sydney Galt, Grace Hanson, Cass Klapp, Lucy Wrigglesworth, national team player, Isabelle Pageau, Stevie Friesen. Front row: Ruby Staples, National Team Player, Ashley Demmings, national team player, Sierra Uphill Perry. Missing: Makenna Bay, Sage Ivany. Submitted.

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