Spikers claim national U16 crown

Local volleyball players Ben Lieuwen and Jeffrey Driediger celebrated a national championship last weekend.

Local volleyball players Ben Lieuwen and Jeffrey Driediger celebrated a national championship last weekend.

The duo helped the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club’s under-16 Blue boys squad to the Tier 1 title in their age group at the Canadian club championships in Toronto.

The FVVC squad went a perfect 9-0 at the tournament, losing just three sets along the way. They were tested in the final by the Ottawa Fusion, dropping the first set 25-21 before rallying to win the next two by scores of 25-18 and 15-13.

Lieuwen, who plays right side, and Driediger, a middle, are both students at Mennonite Educational Institute.

“It’s a pretty sweet feeling,” said Lieuwen, 15, who took home tourney MVP honours. “Our whole team, we grew up watching the Trinity Western Spartans, and watching them win two (CIS) championships in a row (2011 and 2012) was pretty inspiring. So when we got a chance to do it, it was an honour.”

FVVC Blue head coach Jordan Geransky called his team “the most resilient group of 16-year-old athletes I have ever seen.” He cited an example from the tournament’s second day, in a game against Edmonton’s FOG Black.

Fraser Valley dropped the opening set 25-12 and everything seemed to be going against the team and the players could not get into a rhythm. The team found itself trailing 9-4 in the second set, but they found a way to battle back to win the set and tie the match, before taking the third set.

“It takes a very special group of athletes to maintain the composure to win that type of match,” Geransky said.  “Yet that is what they did all year.

“This team was pushed to the limits in pressure situations throughout the year and demonstrated the ability to overcome deficits in the most unlikely of scenarios.”

On the first day of the U16 nationals, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s presence in the stands caused a stir. He was in attendance to watch his son Ben play for the Ottawa Fusion, before heading off to the G8 summit on the weekend.

“That was really cool,” Lieuwen said. “We saw Stephen Harper on the first day of the tournament, and we ended up playing his son in the final. I met his son . . . and he’s a great guy.”

Just Posted

Xauni de Figeuiroa of Abbotsford has been selected to attend a virtual space camp hosted by the Canadian Space Agency at the end of July.
Abbotsford student selected to attend virtual space camp

Xauni de Figeuiroa among 52 youth selected from across Canada

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read