When his team fell down two sets to none in the Fraser Valley championship final, Langley Saints coach Dave McLeod didn’t panic.
The Saints senior girls volleyball team were down 2-0 to the Clayton Heights Nightriders — in the other team’s home gymnasium — on Wednesday night in the 3A Fraser Valley final.
Clayton Heights had already beaten LSS once, 2-1 the night before, the Saints first loss all season.
“We are a never quit type,” McLeod said. “Throughout the season, we had quite a few come from behind victories.”
His message was simple.
“I told them ‘we have been here before, this is nothing new. It is going to boil down to who wants it more and who is the hungriest.”
After Clayton Heights won the first two sets 25-23 and 25-19, the Saints responded by winning the following three sets (25-17, 28-26 and 15-13) to capture the Fraser Valley banner.
“It was not an easy match, it went down to the wire for all five sets,” McLeod said. “Hats off to Clayton Heights; it was a lot of fun.”
“This is the school’s first banner for volleyball (at any level) in its existence,” said McLeod, a former LSS student who also previously coached at the high school.
“The girls have worked so hard, it was so exciting to see all the hard work pay off for them.
”It was a lot of hard work by the girls and it paid off in the long run.”
Three Saints were recognized for their play at Fraser Valleys.
Kalyn Hartman was named most valuable player while Shadea McLeod and Mia Johnson were all-stars.
“By all definitions, a true captain,” McLeod said about Hartman, calling her one of the hardest workers he has ever coached.
“Whatever her coaches want her to do, she does it with a smile on her face.”
LSS began the season in tier 2 but were bumped up to tier 1.
Overall, the Saints are 11-1 on the season and they will look to add to their victory total at the upcoming BC provincial 3A volleyball championships in Kelowna. The tournament runs Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.
LSS will be joined at provincials by both Clayton Heights and the Mountain Eagles.
The Eagles finished third at Fraser Valleys with Mountain’s Rachel Baskovich earning all-star honours.