There was a silver lining for the Langley Fundamental Titans.
The senior boys volleyball team can take solace in their second-place finish at the B.C. 2A provincial championships, especially considering they were the sixth seed entering the tournament.
“My goal for the start of the year was to come third. I thought if we could come third in the province, that would be really good,” said Titans coach Dan Johnson following Saturday night’s straight sets 3-0 loss to the top seed MEI Eagles of Abbotsford.
“With the crew we had, mostly Grade 11s, I was happy with how we did.”
The championships were held at the Langley Events Centre.
MEI won the first set in Saturday night’s final 25-13.
The Titans led for much of the second set before the Eagles rallied to win 26-24. MEI then closed things out with a 25-19 win in the third set.
MEI finished the season undefeated against B.C. competition, with their lone loss against a team from Saskatchewan.
“We knew we had a lot of talent, but we also knew it is a really competitive province,” said MEI coach Jordan Geransky.
“We knew we had a pretty special group so we made the most of it.”
“If we could have won that second set, I think we could have made a better run of it,” Johnson lamented.
“We just got thumped in that first set (but) I was pretty proud how they pushed back in the second set, all the way through.
“MEI, they just didn’t make errors.”
The Titans are a young squad, with just two Grade 12s on their nine-player roster.
Langley Fundamental finished second in their pool with a 2-1 record on the first day of provincials, defeating George Elliot and Pacific Christian, but losing to College Heights.
The Titans beat D.P. Todd 3-1 (25-17,31-33,25-22,25-19) in the first round of the championship draw and then beat Langley Christian 3-2 (25-19,13-25,22-25,25-19,15-9) in the quarter-finals.
The win was a measure of revenge as Langley Christian had beat Fundy in the Fraser Valley semifinals a few weeks earlier.
Langley Christian wound up placing fifth (see page 40) overall at the provincial championships.
The Titans then won in straight sets 3-0 (25-21,25-23,25-18) in the semifinals over Pacific Academy. Pacific Academy had beat Fundy in the Fraser Valley bronze-medal match.
“I told them I was proud of them. They over-exceeded themselves,” Johnson said.
“We didn’t do very well at Fraser Valleys, so we revamped worked really hard and they overcame a lot of stuff.”
“They really played a lot better than they had.”
One of the moves Johnson made which paid dividends at provincials, was moving his son Zec Johnson from setter to outside hitter.
“We needed another hitter because guys were just stacking on Phil (Stahl) and Max (Heppell), so we needed another option to spread them out,” the coach said.
Stahl and Johnson were both named first team all-stars.