Trojans down Grizzlies to capture zone title
Shas Ti Kelly Road Grizzlies player Kalena Samaai spikes the ball against D.P. Todd blockers Shadae Black (#8) and Chayse Sawara (#4) in the gold medal game of the Senior Girls AA North Central Zone Volleyball Championship on Saturday afternoon at Shas Ti Kelly Road Secondary School gymnasium. Playing in their new gym for the North Central zone double-A girls championship and a shot at provincials, the Shas Ti Kelly Road Grizzlies got the quick start they were looking for Saturday against the top-ranked D.P. Todd Trojans. Corina McClure touched off an eightpoint run with a serving ace and by the time their opponents got a side-out the Grizzlies were halfway to winning the first set in the best-of-five match, which they did decisively. The Trojans had their own ace in the hole in the second set. Right-side hitter Londyn Shawara had her serving arm dialed in, working in perfect sync with the Trojans’ front line of defence led by power hitter Shadae Black, whose killer instinct was merciless. She landed four consecutive spikes and made a block that spun off the net onto the Grizzlies side of the court. One more ace from Shawara completed a nine-point run for a 23-15 lead and an eventual set win for the Trojans. The Trojans and Grizzlies have gone back and forth all season trading match victories and the next two sets reflected it. D.P. Todd won the third set 25-23, and the Grizzlies hung with them for much of the fourth game but they couldn’t keep pace with smackdown antics of Black and Reanna Marshall, who pounded down point after point. Marshall’s jump serve put the Grizzlies’ defence off balance and her seven-point run gave the Trojans a 13-8 lead. The Griz made a late push but eventually fell 25-21. It all added up to 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-21) victory for D.P. Todd – the first-ever zone championship for Black, a six-foot Simon Fraser University recruit, selected as the tournament MVP. “It feels amazing, our team has worked so hard for this all season and I can’t believe we puled it off, I’m so excited to go down there,” said Black. “I think it was our energy in this one, we really played for each other and we knew that this was out last time and it was in Kelly Road’s home gym so we had to give it our all. Our (fan) support really helped us, the cheering was great.” Mennonite Educational Institute in Abbotsford has been picked to host the 16-team double-A girls provincial championship, Dec. 3-4, but that tournament might not go ahead as planned to due to the highway closures in the wake of last week’s disastrous rainstorm that hit southwestern B.C. Marshall and Trojans setter Jasmine Dhillon were selected tournament allstars, as were Grizzlies Carly Gurney and Breanne Day and Charlee McIntyre of the Nechako Valley Vikings.