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End of an era, Mount Sentinel does not qualify for provincials

It wasn't from a lack of trying that kept Mount Sentinel from making another trip to the provincial tournament.

By Bruce Fuhr,
The Nelson Daily Sports


It’s not like the final result was totally unexpected.

The 2010 edition of the Mount Sentinel Wildcats was young and inexperienced.

Still, when a school has sent a team to the provincial tournament for more than two decades there is bound to be a few unhappy faces walking the halls of the South Slocan-based facility.

Fernie Falcons rained on the Mount Sentinel victory parade by stopping the host Cats 15-11 in the fifth game of the bronze medal contest at the Kootenay High School A Girl’s Volleyball Championships Saturday at Castlegar’s Selkirk College.

The loss eliminated the Wildcats from attending a record 22 straight B.C. High School A Girl’s Volleyball Championship early next month in Abbotsford.

“Although we will not be at the provincials it was not because a lack of effort and preparation,” said Sentinel coach Joe Moreira. “The group worked as hare as any previous teams. We played well at the zone finals and there were no upsets. We were beat by teams that were stronger than us.”

Fernie jumped to a 2-0 lead before the Wildcats rallied to square the match at 2-2. The Falcons then upped their service game to win by four points.

“As always is the case in the fifth game, the team that can keep their serves in tend to win,” Moreira confessed. “Fernie served better than we did, and won.”

The Wildcats finished second in the preliminary round to Selkirk Storm of Kimberley, losing 25-15, 25-17.

“We had no answer for National team youth player, Breanna Rauch,” said Moreira.

In the quarterfinal round Mount Sentinel and Fernie each won to advance to the semi finals.

A surprisingly strong team from Elkford knocked off the Cats 25-21, 25-13, 29-27.

“In the second game their serving beat us up, but we rebounded nicely in the third but (Elkford) got to 29 before we did,” he said.

Selkirk earned the first seed from the Kootenays by stopping Elkford in the final 25-20, 25-22, 26-24.

“We played this Kootenay Final the way we had played during the season,” Moreira explained. “No surprises . . . we are a fairly young team with four Grade 10 players that carry a fairly big load and the load was pretty heavy this weekend.”

The last time a team from Mount Sentinel did not qualify for the provincial tournament came in 1987 when Salmo ousted the Cats.

During a stretch from 1991 to 2009 Mount Sentinel teams won four provincial titles — 1997, 2002, 2004, 2007 — and finished second or third eight times.

“Although we will not be in attendance this year, we will return,” Moreira said.

sports@thenelsondaily.com