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

Ferry connecting Port Hardy and Bella Coola expected to set sail this summer

Its first in-service route will sail in central coast waters on May 18, 2019.

BC Parks Student Ranger Program accepting applications for 2019 season

12 crews of four student rangers will work in regions throughout the province including Bella Coola.

Over $650,00 given to rural communities thanks to Rural Dividends

Five communities, including Williams Lake, are receiving $10,000 for project grants

Pregnant Cariboo firefighter tries to save own house from blaze

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

Road report for Highway 20

Fog patches and slippery sections; Drive BC

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

B.C. woman planned to donate a kidney to her husband, then found out she has cancer

Richard Stuart needs a kidney, his wife Tracy has been diagnosed with cancer

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Most Read