Sports

Titans ground Lightning in district final

Langley Fundamental Titans’ Zach Johnson (#9), Zach Ronse (#33), Max Heppell (#13), Jordan Goh (#6) and Sammy Vankevich (#14) celebrate during their victory over the Langley Christian Lightning in the Grade 8 boys’ district volleyball finals at the Langley Events Centre last week. - Gary Ahuja/Langley Times
Langley Fundamental Titans’ Zach Johnson (#9), Zach Ronse (#33), Max Heppell (#13), Jordan Goh (#6) and Sammy Vankevich (#14) celebrate during their victory over the Langley Christian Lightning in the Grade 8 boys’ district volleyball finals at the Langley Events Centre last week.
— image credit: Gary Ahuja/Langley Times

Throughout the season, the Langley Fundamental Titans relied on their hitting as their primary source of offense.

But when that was taken away from the team during the Langley Grade 8 district volleyball championship game, they adapted.

“Normally the thing we do well is our hitting,” said Langley Fundamental coach Dan Johnson.

“But today, Langley Christian dug everything up.”

Instead, the Titans rode effective ball control and some outstanding blocking to a 3-1 victory over the Lightning in the championship game on Nov. 6 at the Langley Events Centre.

The Titans were the second seed heading into the district playoffs, having gone 5-1 during the regular season.

The team’s lone loss came back in September when they dropped a five-set decision to Langley Christian. The Lightning were the top seed thanks to their 6-0 record.

The two rivals had also played at a tournament earlier in the year, with the Titans winning that contest.

And in the rubber match at the LEC, the teams traded the first two sets before the Titans closed things out in four.

“What our team did well is their ball control,” Johnson said, referring to Zach Johnson and Max Heppell.

“They passed extremely well, so that was a key for us.”

“And the blocking of our middles (Phil Stalh and Sammy Vankevich), that was key too,” he added.

As for winning districts, Johnson said that was the team’s first goal for the season.

Another goal they set out at the start was winning the Fraser Valley championships.

The Titans finished second at a pair of tournaments earlier this season.

In the third place game, Walnut Grove played Credo Christian.

Next up are the Fraser Valley championships, which run Nov. 16 and 17 at Maple Ridge’s Westview Secondary.

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