An Elk Valley volleyball team has successfully captured second place out of 56 teams at the Alberta Provincial Championships.
Upon entering the tournament mid-April, the 13U Fernie Volleyball Club (FVC) were ranked 14th but won six games in a row to earn themselves a spot in the Division 1 gold medal final.
Five of the six wins did not come easily and were decided in a tie-breaking third set.
The Elk Valley team, made up of three players from Sparwood and nine from Fernie, lost in the final to the No.1 ranked team in the tournament; the University of Calgary’s Jr. Dinos Club.
“This is huge for a Kootenay based team,” said FVC President and Head Coach, Dennis Staples.
He explained that it is typically very difficult for small town clubs to compete against the large city clubs in Alberta, which draw from a much larger pool of athletes and often have multiple teams allowing them to form or group athletes into an ‘elite’ team.
Staples said Fernie’s second place victory is a testament to the interest and dedication to volleyball in the Elk Valley, and East Kootenay region, especially considering the club is only in its second year.
“Having a team come in second out of 56 is a massive accomplishment for the club and region,” he said.
The FVC is also made up of several other teams, including 14U, 15U and 17U.
The 14U girls also competed at the recent provincial tournament in Alberta, placing ninth in Division 4, with a strong finishing weekend of six wins and one loss.
Both the 14U and 15U teams are preparing for nationals in Richmond and Edmonton, respectively, in early May. The 17U teams are also training hard for their upcoming provincial championships.
In the future, Staples hopes the club can continue to draw more players from throughout the Elk Valley and South Country.
To continue to foster the growth of the club and the sport in the Elk Valley, the FVC is offering two youth volleyball camps. For girls and boys entering grades 4 and 5, camps will be held in the mornings from July 29-31. For girls and boys entering grades 6 to 12, full-day camps will be held from August 6-9.
To become involved in these, email Camps@fernievolleyball.com for details.