The Semiahmoo Totems celebrate after capturing the BC high school boys AAA volleyball championship at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press The Semiahmoo Totems celebrate after capturing the BC high school boys AAA volleyball championship at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press

Semiahmoo Totems top Mount Baker Wild in thrilling five-set final

Semiahmoo defeats top-seed from Cranbrook to capture gold at BC AAA boys volleyball final at Langley Events Centre

In the end, the championship experience of the Semiahmoo Totems came through.

The Totems won the first two sets 25-21 and 25-22 of the gold-medal match of the BC high school volleyball AAA championships on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.

So when the Mount Baker Wild — the tournament’s top seed — came roaring back with 25-18 and 25-12 victories to force a fifth and deciding game, the Totems were able to draw on last year’s experience, when they captured the provincial banner.

“You know sometimes you see the light at the end of the tunnel and think it’s the sun? Well it was a train,” said Semiahmoo coach Michael Sapic.

The coach said he didn’t even let his players to the bench after the one-sided fourth set.

All he told them was that the first four sets didn’t matter and that at the start of the season, they would have gladly accepted the chance to play in the fifth set of the gold-medal game.

The teams were tied at six in that decisive set, but the Totems scored nine of the final 15 points to win 15-12.

“I just told myself and my team to stay calm,” said Semiahmoo’s Mike Dowhaniuk, who earned his second consecutive most outstanding player award.

“Just do what we have done all year and play Semiahmoo volleyball and it worked out in the end for us.”

The Totems were seeded ninth for provincials after placing third at the Fraser Valley championships and Dowhaniuk said their semifinal loss at that tournament was a good wake-up call for the team.

Semiahmoo was second in their pool after going 2-1 on the first day of provincials. They then beat Kelowna 3-0 in the round of 16, won 3-1 over Penticton in the quarter-finals and 3-0 over Earl Marriott in the semifinals.

Mount Baker went 3-0 on the first day before winning 3-1 over Reynolds, 3-0 over Elgin Park and 3-0 over Seaquam on their way to the championship final.

“Coming out, the boys were playing a little scared,” admitted Wild coach Karley Ferner. “The first two sets, giving them those two, obviously didn’t help, but they weren’t playing with confidence — they were playing a little bit scared, they were swinging a little scared.

“Once they got through that, they were pretty unstoppable for a while.”

The Wild’s second-place finish matched their result from 2001, a best-ever for the program.

“We knew we had the talent. It’s a good finish — it’s bittersweet, we are really happy to get number two but of course, you want the win. But they put the work in and accomplished what they wanted to do,” Ferner said.

Mount Baker’s Quinn Grist and Caleb Peters were named first team all-stars while Semiahmoo’s Tyler Buchanan and Adam Paige were also named to the team.


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Semiahmoo Totems’ Mike Dowhaniuk runs into a wall of Mount Baker Wild blockers — Caleb Peters (#3), Sheldon Thomas (#11) and Dawson Atwood (#6) — during the gold medal game of the BC high school AAA boys championship final at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 2. Greg Laychak Black Press

Mount Baker’s Riley Byman sets the attack for his team during the BC high school boys AAA gold medal game at the Langley Events Centre against the Semiahmoo Totems on Dec. 2. Greg Laychak Black Press

Just Posted

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

City of Fernie to extend pilot snow removal program

Councillors voted unanimously on Sep. 17 to extend the program due to a lack of data points and disruption due to the pandemic

14 car batteries cleared from Elk River near Elkford

The ERA is encouraging eager volunteers to reach out to help keep the river clean

Six additional COVID-19 cases overnight in Interior Health region

The total number of cases within the region is now at 486

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Interior Health reports four new cases of COVID-19

First hospitalization since mid-August announced

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Conservation groups blast province for logging in caribou habitat near Revelstoke

In the last year, 104 cuts have been approved near Revelstoke in caribou habitat

Most Read