The 2019 BC Cup proved to be a valuable experience for members of the East Kootenay Volleyball Club (EKVC) who participated in the tournament.
There were seven members of EKVC who helped to make up Zone 1 – Kootenays. The zone included players from Castlegar, Cranbrook, Creston, Fernie, Kimberley and more.
I really liked being involved with everyone from different zones, and I really liked meeting new people and making new friends,” said Lauren Penney, 14, about her time at the BC Cup.
Eight zones in total participated at the BC Cup, including Okanagan, Fraser Valley, Fraser River, Vancouver/Coastal, Vancouver Island/Central Coast, North West and Cariboo/North East.
With so many different athletes at the competition, Penney says she enjoyed getting to know all the different people.
“Staying in the dorm rooms to get to know other people from different zones was fun,” she added.
Mackenzie Halliday, 15, said she learned a lot from her experience throughout the competition.
“I learned to work better with different people, and to adapt to different environments with different people,” she said.
EKVC made up half of the team from the Kootenay Zone, so meshing in a fast time frame with the others was something they had to overcome.
“It was really good, but it was kind of hard at first because I was really shy, but it got better,” said Halliday.
This wasn’t the first time she has competed on a big stage. In previous years she was part of the Baden Cup 14U team.
“It was kind of like that experience, but a little different because you are competing in zones,” added Halliday.
Jordyn Andersson, 14, said the level of competition made for a fun time.
“It was intense, which made it really fun,” she said. “I definitely learned a lot, just from working with different people. We had never of played an actual game together, and the first game had a little bit of a rough start, but we definitely grew after that.”
Abigail Betker, 14, described the Kootenay team as persevering against factors that other teams might not have to.
“We pull from a lot fewer people, but I think knowing that in our heads, knowing that we don’t have as many people or as tall of people, we still grind hard — we just go for it. We are go-getters. Just because we are a smaller area doesn’t mean we will be stomped on,” she said.
No stranger to taking part in BC Volleyball tournaments, last year Betker went to the BC Summer Games.
This year at the BC Cup, it wasn’t just indoor volleyball at the camp. The athletes also took part in beach volleyball.
“I didn’t really know about beach [volleyball] before this tournament, and now I think I’d like to play it in the future like I’ll join clubs for it,” said Betker.
The girls all said they want to continue to improve and take part in similar competitions in the future.