There is winning and then there is what the Langley Christian Lightning did this past season.
The Lightning capped off a perfect season — 52-0 — in winning the first junior boys provincial volleyball banner in school history.
And Langley Christian did so in dominating fashion as the team went 7-0 last week in Kelowna, without dropping a set the entire time.
“It is surreal,” said coach Carol Hofer.
“Maybe it will hit them (the players) when they are older, but it hit me just how special this season was because you don’t often get an opportunity to have that kind of success.”
The Lightning breezed through pool play, knocking off College Heights, Claremont and Kelowna Christian by identical 2-0 scores. Only once did an opponent even reach 20 points in those six sets, while in the other five, they never passed 16.
They continued to roll in the playoff round, beating George Elliot 2-0 (25-15,25-14), Okanagan Mission 2-0 (25-22,25-16) and Abbotsford Christian 2-0 (25-10,25-16).
That set up a showdown with Richmond Christian in the finals with the Lightning again winning in straight sets, 25-21, 25-20 and 25-15.
“We rolled right through,” Hofer said.
“The kids played amazing. We were a very, strong unified team, 15 strong we say. It became sort of our rallying cry. It was great because we were able to get everyone in to play, which doesn’t always happen at a provincial championship.”
Left-side hitter Brodie Hofer — the coach’s son — was named most valuable player, while middle Jeremiah Macadam and setter Mattias Dahl were all-stars.
The coach said the team had several other worthy all-star candidates as well.
At the start of the season, Hofer said she knew the Lightning had the talent in place to win a provincial banner.
“I would not have predicted a perfect season, but I knew we had the tools to win a championship,” she said.
“We just focused all season long on the process that we needed to follow to achieve what we wanted. We knew the championship was what we wanted, but we didn’t talk about it a lot.
“We talked about what we had to do every day, day in and day out, to get better, to get stronger, to make each other stronger; we had to push each other, that was a really important step in the process.”
Heading into provincials, Hofer said the goal of the team was not be out-worked by anyone, as well as focusing on their defence.
“We spent a lot of time working on our defence, something we hadn’t spent a lot of time earlier, and I think that made a big difference for us because it just allowed us to dig up more balls and transition them,” she said.
“Our offence is strong, we were able to attack at will almost.”