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DCSS Grade 9 volleyball team is golden - winning Fort St. John tournament

The DCSS Grade 9 girls volleyball team said 'stay golden' and they did.
The DCSS Grade 9 Volleyball team won gold in Fort St. John, October 9. From left: Coach Kristen Gauthier, Ashlyn Buchan, Calla Bijl, Arielle Spencer, Shanedra Martinez, Hannah Legault, Ella Pike, Tyler Schmidt, Keira Heartt, Sophia Amano, coach Terri Spencer.

The DCSS Grade 9 girls volleyball team showed their was no rust to shake off, winning their first tournament in almost two years, October 9 in Fort St. John. Against five other Grade 9 teams from the entire region, the Dawson Creek girls went 5-1 on way to winning the gold. 

"The girls played so well. They were so excited just to play a tournament. Friday, waiting to get on the bus, they were so excited, and going into the final, when they looked at the table and saw the medals they could win, they couldn't believe it," said Coach Terri Spencer. "It was so exciting for them to win the gold."

After coming out strong against Chetwynd, they played again late Friday night, losing to Bert Bowes. 

"They seemed really tired and confused. I thought we were in for quite the weekend, but they came back hard the next day," Spencer said. 

The team beat Dr. Kearney, with Ella Pike serving the entire third set, to win by a score of 15-0. 

"(Pike) is always solid, a super good passer, and I always start with her as a server because she's so strong and I can count on her."

DCSS played Bert Bowes in the semi-final, a rematch from Friday night. They showed no signs they had just lost against the Fort St. John team, and won to face Clearview in the final where they were victorious as well. 

"It came down to super good defense on our part. The girls played the best defence I've ever seen from them," said Spencer. 

There were 12 teams at the tournament in total — six of them being Grade 8 teams. Though the DCSS team was a Grade 9 squad, only four of the nine players were in Grade 9, showing they are playing above their years. 

One player who really stood out to Spencer was newcomer Kira Hart. 

"(Hart) really stepped up. She came out of nowhere and started smoking the ball. She just started playing volleyball a year ago, never played at a tournament before, and really turned up her game. She was so excited and a real joy to coach."

The team well head to Prince George for the PGSS tournament, October 22 to 24, before playing at their home DCSS tournament, October 29 and 30.

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at