Seaside 18U Boys Surf, coached by new CapU men's volleyball head coach Dave Dooley, defeated the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club to win gold at the 17/18U Boys Provincial Championships last weekend in Richmond.
Seaside dropped the first set 18-25, but regained their composure in a close second set and took it 28-26. One of the key turning points of the second set win was a first and third touch dig by libero Kris La Guardia, who powered the ball over top of the FVVC players into the deep corner to win the set -- forcing a third and final frame (video of the dig can be seen here).
Rallies in the final game went back-and-forth until Seaside went up 14-13 and head coach Dave Dooley called a time out. The Surf responded out the huddle, winning the next point to take the championship.
“I never doubted them for a second, even after the rocky start to the opening set," said Dooley. "We knew that managing arousal levels in such a huge match would be imperative to our success, and guys coming in off the bench were critical in helping us to relax and find our rhythm. We knew that if we could keep the match tight, our belief in each other and the love that is felt in our locker room would help us come out on top.
“I can't say enough about this group of young men: their work ethic, attention to detail, perseverance in the face of adversity, and bonds formed over several years as members of the Seaside family will be an experience that they remember for the rest of their lives. Now that we have accomplished our first goal for this season, we will enjoy this feeling for a couple of days before getting right back to work with our second goal of a National Gold Medal one step closer.”
Dooley will now lead Seaside at the Volleyball Canada Nationals, held May 20-22 in Edmonton, Alberta. Markus Bratsberg, who is committed to CapU for the fall, is also a key member of the Seaside team.
The new head coach has already hit the ground running with the CapU Blues as well, looking ahead to the 2018-19 PACWEST campaign which officially gets underway in October.