The Langley Christian Lightning are provincial champions after winning the senior girls AA volleyball title in Vanderhoof on Saturday.

Jubilation as Lightning senior girls strike for volleyball title

Langley Christian wins senior girls AA volleyball title

Redemption.

Last year, the Langley Christian Lightning nearly had a dream season, winning their first 56 games.

Unfortunately for the senior girls volleyball team, their 57th game was a defeat at the worst possible time: in the B.C. provincial AA championship game.

“It was heartbreaking, probably the toughest loss I have ever experienced,” admitted Lightning coach Lisa Bontkes. “It was pretty devastating for our team.”

This year’s road to the provincial championships was not as smooth.

For one thing, Langley Christian did not go in on a lengthy winning streak.

But when the dust had settled, the Lightning defeated the St. Thomas More Knights 3-0 to capture the gold medal on Saturday at the provincial championships in Vanderhoof.

Bontkes said no mention was made of last year’s disappointment in the run up to this season’s gold medal.

“We didn’t bring up last year, we needed to let that go and start fresh,” Bontkes said. “It didn’t need to be brought up, they just wanted it.”

The coach said her team was mentally ready for the challenges of making a run to the gold. It also helped that they didn’t have the pressure and target of being an overwhelming favourite.

“We were mentally prepared for provincials and it definitely makes it easier when you are not the favourite going in as No. 1,” she said. “When you go in as No. 1, everyone is gunning for you.”

In fact, the Lightning weren’t even one of the top two seeds from their own zone after finishing behind both the MEI Eagles and Pacific Academy Breakers at the Fraser Valley championships.

After Langley Christian went 3-0 to win their pool, the Lightning beat Charles Hays in the round of 16 and Notre Dame in the quarter-finals.

In the semifinals, they faced Pacific Academy, in what Bontkes said was her team’s stiffest test at provincials.

Langley Christian won 3-1, after scoring the final seven points in the fourth set, when they trailed 23-18.

“This is just an amazing, kind group of girls so it just made it extra special to win with them,” Bontkes gushed.

“The furthest you can go in high school sports is to win a banner for your school (so) they were pretty pumped.”

Making the banner even more special was the fact the Langley Christian senior boys also won gold on Saturday at their provincial championship tournament.

The school held a special assembly for the two teams on Monday morning.

The Lightning were led by left-side hitter Savannah Caterino-Leger, who was named most valuable player.

Janae Bruinsma, another left-side hitter, was a first team all-star and Jenna Van Roekel, a middle, was a second team all-star. And Corina Beimers was named the tournament’s top libero.

Three other Langley high school teams were also in action over the weekend at their respective provincial volleyball championships.

The Credo Christian Kodiaks placed sixth at the BC Single A senior girls championships in Fernie.

The Kodiaks’ Rebekkah Allison was named a second team-star.

And at the AAA senior girls championships in Vancouver, the Langley Saints placed ninth overall.

And closer to home at the Langley Events Centre, the Langley Fundamental Titans also placed ninth in the senior boys AA championships.

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

Just Posted

Aldor Acres is open to the public for pumpkin picking and animal visiting. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)
Our View: Caution requires creativity this Halloween in Langley

And remember, no big parties, or you’ll get a trick in the form of a fine!

R.E. Mountain Secondary (Langley School District)
COVID-19 exposure issued for R.E. Mountain Secondary in Langley

Four schools have been removed from the list of exposures

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Education is key to creating an equal world

Aldergrove reader ‘resentful’ of response by Christian Heritage Party candidate

Did those election signs change anyone’s mind in Langley? Something did. (Joti Grewal/Langley Advance Times files)
Painful Truth: Demographic transition an election fairy tale

It turns out people in Langley actually can change their minds

Walnut Grove’s Shawn Meehan (front) has started another band, Trigger Mafia. This local country rocker has put country on the shelf, and is going hard-core rock with this group, releasing their first single last Friday to radio. It started as a way to pass the time during the COVID lockdown, and evolved. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Langley musician drives rock revival with COVID twist

Trigger Mafia goes straight from the garage to radio with raw lyrics

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Court approves money for B.C. foster children alleging harm from Kelowna social worker

The maximum combined total award for basic payments and elevated damages for an individual is $250,000

Most Read