At the start of the season, had somebody told Jeff Bontkes his team would be in the final four in the province, he would gladly have taken it.
But that still doesn’t take all the sting out of a fourth place finish for Bontkes’ Langley Christian Lightning at the B.C. high school junior boys provincial championships.
The tournament was held Nov. 22-24 at Abbotsford’s MEI Secondary.
“I didn’t even think we would make provincials (at the start of the season),” said Bontkes, who coaches the team along with Eric Van Huizen.
“(So) it is way better than what we expected at the beginning of the season.”
The Lightning, who earlier this month won the Langley district championship as well as placing fourth at the Fraser Valleys, won their pool on the first day of provincials and then won the subsequent round of 16 and quarter-final matches on the second day.
That set them up into the final four on the Saturday.
But Langley Christian lost 2-0 in the semifinals to Kelowna and then dropped the bronze medal match 2-1 to Princess Margaret.
“We didn’t play as well as we would have liked on the Saturday,” Bontkes said.
“It just wasn’t our best volleyball. And we needed to be at our best to win and it didn’t happen.”
The team did land a pair of players on the tournament’s all-star team.
Tobias Meier, who is in Grade 10, was named to the first team while Linden Bontkes, a Grade 9 student, was a second-team selection.
The Langley Fundamental Titans were at the B.C. junior girls provincial tournament, which was held at South Delta Secondary and Seaquam Secondary.
The Titans placed 17th at the tournament.
The Titans Grade 8 boys’ team placed third at the Fraser Valley championships, beating Fraser Heights in the bronze medal game.
Langley has a handful of teams competing for the provincial titles in their respective categories this weekend.
At the senior boys’ level, the Langley Christian Lightning and the Langley Fundamental Titans are in Kelowna for the AA championships.
Also in Kelowna will be the Credo Christian Kodiaks senior boys who are part of the Single A championships.
All three schools also have their senior girls teams at provincials.
Langley Fundamental is at the AA championships in Invermere, while Langley Christian and Credo Christian are in Castlegar for the Single A tournament.