College Heights girls rise to top

One championship title and a second-place finish.

It's a pretty good start for the College Heights senior girls volleyball team.

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The Cougars won all six of their matches en route to capturing the tournament crown at Cedars Christian School on Saturday. Two weeks ago, they finished second behind cross-town and triple-A rival Duchess Park at the Kodiak Classic.

On Saturday, the Cougars defeated the Cedars A team in straight sets in the final, one they reached after edging PGSS 2-1 in the semifinal.

In round-robin, they finished first in their pool with 2-0 victories over Hudsons Hope, Cedars B and D.P. Todd.

In the cross-over game, they topped Northside Christian School of Vanderhoof in straight sets.

The Cougars are in rebuilding mode this year, having lost eight seniors to graduation. Among them were captain Taylor Samuelson (setter), and power hitter Maddie Doucette, who are now starters with UNBC's women's soccer side.

This season, the four Grade 12s in the starting six include returning power hitters Kaitlyn Seath and Brittany Briere, returning middle blocker Katherine Chrobot and returning right-side setter Megan Warner.

Seath is the team captain.

"We're in a rebuilding year and this tournament win will set us up for the UBCO tournament (in Kelowna) this weekend," said head coach Jason Olexyn.

"We've got four veteran leaders. Kaitlyn has been on the team since Grade 10. She's a great person to have as a leader and knows what to expect."

Olexyn is carrying 11 players on the team, including one Grade 10 athlete, while the remainder are in Grade 11.

"It was a tough tryout - I always like to have one Grade 10 on the team so they get the jitters out," he said.

As of Sept. 29, the Cougars were the No. 10 team in the province in the triple-A rankings. The Duchess Park Condors were ranked second. They did not compete at Cedars Christian.

The Cougars will host their Tuff Enuff tournament Oct. 16-17 and will go into it as the defending champions.

Last season, they finished 13th at the B.C. high school triple-A championship after winning the north central zone title.

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