Richmond's top two senior girls volleyball teams concluded their seasons this past weekend with impressive showings at their respective provincial championships.
The Richmond Christian Eagles capped their breakthrough campaign with a fifth place finish at the B.C. AA tournament in Nanaimo. This marked the first season enrolment at Richmond Christian had increased to the point where the Eagles had to move up to AA classification.
They more than held their own, being ranked in the top 10 throughout the season then capturing their first-ever Richmond championship.
In Nanaimo, the girls qualified second in their pool group with a 2-1 record after wins over Sa-Hali (25-23, 25-21) and Cedar (25-23, 27-25). The lone loss came against No. 2 ranked Elphinstone of Gibsons (16-25, 20-25).
The Eagles defeated St. Thomas More in straight sets (25-22, 2518 and 25-21) in the round of 16.
Their run for a podium finish ended with a hard-fought four set loss (25-22, 22-25, 22-25, 14-25) to Surrey Christian in the quarterfinals.
Richmond then secured a top five finish with wins over College Heights (25-21, 25-17) and Langley Fundamental (25-19, 2518) on Saturday.
Team captain Rowyn Neufeld was named as a First Team Tournament All-Star.
"We were delighted with the result, especially since it's our first season in AA," said Eagles coach Karen Prinsloo. "We are the first team in the school's history to bring home AA silverware. Up to sixth place in the tournament gets a trophy to mark the significance of the achievement."
Meanwhile, the McMath Wildcats continued their fine postseason run by placing sixth at the provincial AAAA championships in Port Coquitlam.
The Vancouver and District champions came second in their pool group with wins over Argyle and Oak Bay, while falling to No. 2 ranked Kelowna.
In round of 16 play, the Wildcats came through with a hard-fought four set win (25-21, 27-25, 27-29, 27-25) over South Surrey's Elgin Park Orcas.
That set-up a quarter-final game against No. ranked 1 South Delta.
The Wildcats fell in three games to the eventual tournament champions (25-16, 25-16, 25-19).
McMath moved into consolation play Saturday morning where they knocked off host Riverside (25-22, 26-27, 15-9). The girls then met Kelowna again for fifth place and gave the Owls all they could handle, losing in three sets (25-22, 9-25, 10-15).
The tournament marked the end of a 29-year coaching career for Rob Forbes who will be retiring from teaching in June. Forbes had informed his graduating Grade 12s five years ago this would be the final group he would be going through with.
The impression he and assistant coach Rick Hansen has made on the girls was reflective at the championships when McMath was named the tournament's most sportsmanlike team.
Additional hardware went to power hitter Katrina Tolentino who was selected to the tournament's all-star team.
The McMath roster also features Shannon Boe, Hilary Schaap, Rebecca Hansen, Carling Matsuzaki, Danielle Kiss, Emma Partridge, Katrina Tan, Natasha Magnus, Amelia Ball, Marta Gorgopa, Amber Pomeroy and Alynn Meginbir.