Best in B.C., best in Canada and now best on the international level.
The Force U16 Volleyball Club returned home from Orlando, Fla. last week after taking top spot at the AAU boys’ junior national volleyball championships.
“It is sort of surreal for us,” said Force coach Dan Johnson.
“To have won the Canadian national title, and then to have won this event in the same year, it is pretty exciting.”
The Force is made up of players from mainly Langley and Surrey, and one player from Abbotsford.
They were competing in Florida from June 19 to 21 and the team went a perfect 9-0, including not dropping a single set in their final three games.
The Force beat the Ocean Bay 16 Waves 2-0 (25-13, 25-11) in the quarter-finals, the Ocean Bay 16 Surf 2-0 (25-21, 25-18) and then TVA Volleyball System 2-0 (25-21, 25-22) in the championship final.
The Ocean Bay teams were from Florida while TVA is from Puerto Rico.
“They had a great hitter and they just set him so much,” Johnson said about their opponent in the championship final.
“But our guys just played as a team; they played so well.”
Johnson said the Force entered the tournament with high expectations — they wanted to win — but no pressure.
“The guys were just so excited, we had never played these teams before so we had no barometer, no way of knowing what to expect,” he said.
“The guys played really loose and by the end, they were just so excited to have won it.”
He felt they faced more pressure back in May at the Canadian national club championships since they were the defending champions and anything short of a repeat would have been a disappointment to the squad.
“We were a lot tighter (at Canadian nationals) I felt,” he said.
“In this one, we went in without any pressure or expectations, if we would have lost, it would not have been as devastating.”
Zec Johnson — the coach’s son and the team’s setter — was named most valuable player while Phil Stahl and Colton Loewen were named first team all-Americans.
Johnson and Stahl are from Langley while Loewen is from Abbotsford.