The Langley Christian Grade 8 boys volleyball team captured the district championship on Tuesday with a 3-1 victory over the Walnut Grove Gators.

Lightning strike down Gators in final

Langley Christian, Walnut Grove and Langley Fundamental advance to Fraser Valley championships

The Langley Christian Lightning completed the Grade 8 sweep of the district volleyball titles, dispatching the Walnut Grove Gators in four sets.

The two teams were playing in the Grade 8 boys district championship game on Tuesday at the Langley Events Centre.

The Lightning won 3-1, winning sets one and two 25-21 and 25-13 before the Gators stayed alive with a 25-15 win in set three. Langley Christian would close the match out in the fourth set, prevailing 25-15.

Winning a district title was a realistic goal, said head coach Brynden MacTavish.

“I think this was our expectation; as a group, this was our goal so we go into Fraser Valleys with a good seed,” he said.

The team’s other goal was to get all of the players as much experience as possible.

“We wanted to have the guys enjoy their year and want to come back and continue to play,” MacTavish said.

“And I think we succeeded. Everyone got a lot of playing time and now we want to get ready for the Fraser Valleys.”

MacTavish said the team has really picked up their play over the season’s second half.

“The second half of the season, serving has become a strength for us. And we have made it a (focus) to make teams earn their points. Keep the ball in play and then when we get a chance, attack,” he said.

“We have a couple of guys who are really good attackers and I think that is the piece that has really separated us from the other teams in our league: we have a couple of guys who can put the ball away and we have guys who can keep the ball off the floor long enough so that we can do that.”

Langley Christian and Walnut Grove were the top two teams during league play with the Lightning going unbeaten (7-0) and the Gators at 5-2.

Both teams won in straight sets in the semifinal matches, as the Lightning topped Betty Gilbert and the Gators beat Langley Fundamental.

Langley Fundamental defeated Betty Gilbert in the bronze medal match and will join Langley Christian and Walnut Grove at next week’s Fraser Valley championships.

They run Nov. 7 to 10 at Elgin Park Secondary in Surrey.

The Lightning, who also won the Christian Schools Tournament two weeks ago, are poised to make a run at Fraser Valleys.

“Having seen a bunch of the teams that will be (at Fraser Valleys), I think a goal for us would be to medal,” MacTavish said.


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