Lightning break Breakers in bronze medal match

Langley Christian advancing to B.C. provincial senior boys volleyball championships

The Langley Christian Lightning are right where they want to be: in the mix at the B.C. provincial senior boys AA volleyball championships.

“The goal, at the start of the year, was to medal at provincials,” said Lightning coach Brynden MacTavish.

“And then as the as the year has gone on, we have adjusted that goal to hopefully leaving provincials as retuning champions.

“As a team, we decided that is what our end goal is.”

The Lightning do have their work cut out for themselves if they hope to once again hoist the championship trophy. The team finished third at the Fraser Valley championships, defeating the Pacific Academy Breakers in straight sets.

The top two seeds at Fraser Valleys went to the Langley Fundamental Titans and the MEI Eagles.

The roster has a few more Grade 12 players than Grade 11 players, but the starting line-up is heavy with players with senior experience.

Leading the way are captains Brayden Heppell and Joel Hansen.

And it was those two players who really stepped up with the bronze medal on the line on Nov. 19 at the Langley Events Centre against Pacific Academy.

“They have done a good job of leading us this year,” MacTavish said.

“(In the bronze medal game), they set the tone early for what we had to do and the rest of the guys followed suit.”

Up next comes the provincial championships, which run Nov. 27 to Nov. 30 at the UBC-Okanagan campus in Kelowna.

MacTavish is banking one what his players learned last year on their way to winning the first AA provincial title in school history.

“Knowing what it takes, knowing that it is a four-day tournament and it is going to take more than just a game plan,” he explained.

He said last year’s squad bonded very well over the tail end of the season and into the playoffs and the players were playing for one another.

“That is something the Grade 12s are going to be able to take and the Grade 11s will be able to learn from,” MacTavish said.