The Semiahmoo Totems celebrate after capturing the BC high school boys AAA volleyball championship at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press The Semiahmoo Totems celebrate after capturing the BC high school boys AAA volleyball championship at the Langley Events Centre. Greg Laychak Black Press

Semiahmoo Totems top Mount Baker Wild in thrilling five-set final

Semiahmoo defeats top-seed from Cranbrook to capture gold at BC AAA boys volleyball final at Langley Events Centre

In the end, the championship experience of the Semiahmoo Totems came through.

The Totems won the first two sets 25-21 and 25-22 of the gold-medal match of the BC high school volleyball AAA championships on Saturday night at the Langley Events Centre.

So when the Mount Baker Wild — the tournament’s top seed — came roaring back with 25-18 and 25-12 victories to force a fifth and deciding game, the Totems were able to draw on last year’s experience, when they captured the provincial banner.

“You know sometimes you see the light at the end of the tunnel and think it’s the sun? Well it was a train,” said Semiahmoo coach Michael Sapic.

The coach said he didn’t even let his players to the bench after the one-sided fourth set.

All he told them was that the first four sets didn’t matter and that at the start of the season, they would have gladly accepted the chance to play in the fifth set of the gold-medal game.

The teams were tied at six in that decisive set, but the Totems scored nine of the final 15 points to win 15-12.

“I just told myself and my team to stay calm,” said Semiahmoo’s Mike Dowhaniuk, who earned his second consecutive most outstanding player award.

“Just do what we have done all year and play Semiahmoo volleyball and it worked out in the end for us.”

The Totems were seeded ninth for provincials after placing third at the Fraser Valley championships and Dowhaniuk said their semifinal loss at that tournament was a good wake-up call for the team.

Semiahmoo was second in their pool after going 2-1 on the first day of provincials. They then beat Kelowna 3-0 in the round of 16, won 3-1 over Penticton in the quarter-finals and 3-0 over Earl Marriott in the semifinals.

Mount Baker went 3-0 on the first day before winning 3-1 over Reynolds, 3-0 over Elgin Park and 3-0 over Seaquam on their way to the championship final.

“Coming out, the boys were playing a little scared,” admitted Wild coach Karley Ferner. “The first two sets, giving them those two, obviously didn’t help, but they weren’t playing with confidence — they were playing a little bit scared, they were swinging a little scared.

“Once they got through that, they were pretty unstoppable for a while.”

The Wild’s second-place finish matched their result from 2001, a best-ever for the program.

“We knew we had the talent. It’s a good finish — it’s bittersweet, we are really happy to get number two but of course, you want the win. But they put the work in and accomplished what they wanted to do,” Ferner said.

Mount Baker’s Quinn Grist and Caleb Peters were named first team all-stars while Semiahmoo’s Tyler Buchanan and Adam Paige were also named to the team.


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Semiahmoo Totems’ Mike Dowhaniuk runs into a wall of Mount Baker Wild blockers — Caleb Peters (#3), Sheldon Thomas (#11) and Dawson Atwood (#6) — during the gold medal game of the BC high school AAA boys championship final at the Langley Events Centre on Dec. 2. Greg Laychak Black Press

Mount Baker’s Riley Byman sets the attack for his team during the BC high school boys AAA gold medal game at the Langley Events Centre against the Semiahmoo Totems on Dec. 2. Greg Laychak Black Press

Just Posted

“To finish is to win” mantra of Barriere 50 mile endurance ride

‘No Bitch’in Barriere Ride-Just Ride’ came off for both horses and riders without a hitch

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Cottonwood trees pose threat to motorists

Government has program to remove danger trees, but sometimes the responsibility is the landowner’s

Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) closes doors of its Clearwater location

Clients now forced to travel to Kamloops or 100 Mile House for closest alternate location

U14 team fights its way to gold medal match

Clearwater kids play hearts out and bring home silver medal

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read