During the regular season, the Langley Christian Lightning won twice in convincing fashion over their crosstown rivals, the Langley Fundamental Titans.
But the Lightning found themselves trailing two sets to one in the Grade 8 Langley district championship game at the Langley Events Centre on Tuesday night.
“We are not having fun,” said Lightning coach Bruce Wergeland, when asked what he said to his team prior to that fourth set.
“We can only have fun if we play a higher quality of volleyball and make fewer unforced mistakes.”
Langley Christian was the top team in the Langley league with a 4-0 record while Langley Fundamental was second at 3-1. Both teams won their semifinal matches in straight sets.
The Lighting, who had won the first set 25-21 before dropping sets two and three 25-19 and 25-23, respectively, stayed alive with a 25-20 win in set four. They capped off the comeback with a 15-12 win in the decisive fifth set.
“Despite our frustrating play, we were able to grind through another game that lacked rhythm and energy,” Wergeland admitted.
“We were not expecting to struggle so much and make so many mistakes on our side of the net.
“At the end of the two-hour match, it felt like a huge accomplishment (to win).”
The coach said qualifying for provincials was one of the team’s goals at the start of the year, as well as competing in the top four at Valleys.
The Fraser Valley championships are being hosted at Earl Marriott Secondary on Nov. 10, 12 and 13.
Both the Titans and third place Credo Christian also advanced.
Langley Christian heads into the championships with just one loss on their resume, a defeat at the hands of Earl Marriott at a tournament last month.