Langley Lightning strikes at provincial championships

The Langley Christian Lightning lived up to their No. 1 ranking at the B.C. high school junior girls volleyball championships.

The Lightning continued their season-long run of success by winning the provincial title at Delta’s Seaquam Secondary last weekend.

Langley Christian’s final game of the season was arguably its toughest, as it battled to a three-set win over Abbotsford’s MEI Eagles in the gold-medal matchup.

It was the crowning touch on a fine B.C. championships for the Lightning, who defeated St. Thomas More, Duchess Park, and Vancouver Technical in pool play, got by Lord Tweedsmuir in three sets in the quarterfinal, and swept the Kelowna Owls in two sets in the semifinal.

Lightning Grade 10 setter Olivia Heinen was named tournament MVP, while middle Jayden Bontkes and power Morgan Hindy earned first team all-star selections.

Lightning head coach Lisa Bontkes said the Lightning players have had each other’s backs all season.

“These girls have been playing together since Grade 3; I have coached them for eight years in both school and club and they’ve put in thousands of hours,” Bontkes said. “They are a close knit group that works hard. They’re kind hearted kids, with no fear of making mistakes on this team because they support each other. Even if it’s the last point of a very important game, there’s no fear of making mistakes because there’s no repercussions for it, therefore they’re willing to take risks. The only way to improve, is if you’re willing to take risks.”

The impressive amount of skill on display by both teams in the provincial final was great to see, Bontkes noted.

“I had many people come up to me and say that they’ve never seen a junior final with such a high level of volleyball,” Bontkes said. “MEI is just an excellent team and either team would have deserved to win. We just happened to come out on top.”

The Lightning’s B.C. title triumph, on Saturday, Nov. 22, happened to fall on the head coach’s birthday.

“I couldn’t ask for a better birthday present,” Bontkes said.

The B.C. champion Lightning include coaches Lisa Bontkes and Kara Davis, and players Emma Hansen, Jayden Bontkes, Morgan Hindy, Corina Beimers, Savannah Caterino-Leger, Olivia Heinen, Leah Roersma, Katelyn Mallette, Hannah Krepp, and Liesl VanWyk.

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