Golden smiles defined, Port Coquitlam's Riverside Rapids celebrate the first B.C. senior girls volleyball title in school history Saturday in Nanaimo. (Photo property of Riverside Athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Feature High School Girls Volleyball

Riverside Rapids’ B.C. Quad-A girls volleyball title makes school history! Seniors complete a B.C. championship trilogy in heart-stopping fashion!

At no point along a four-year volleyball journey did Bryan Gee ever underestimate the size of the collective heart which beat within the roster of his Riverside Rapids’ girls volleyball team.

Yet come Monday morning, even the team’s head coach had to admit that the performances of his team at the most critical junctures of this weekend’s B.C. senior girls Quad-A volleyball championships in Nanaimo were the most special ever, ultimately completing a trilogy of excellence.

“I am still in awe of what they did,” Gee said after the Rapids rallied from the brink to first defeat Nanaimo District and then South Delta in the respective semifinals and finals to capture the first B.C. Quad-A team championship banner across any sport in school history.

The Rapids’ seniors had won the B.C. title as Grade 9s and then again as juniors in Grade 10 in the 2019-20 season before losing last season to the pandemic.

“Honestly, in the moments we were down and out, we kept finding ways,” said Gee, whose team rallied from identical 2-1 set deficits to beat the Islanders and then the Sun Devils in five-set thrillers over the three-day event staged at Nanaimo’s Dover Bay Secondary. “It was just their sheer heart and desire to overcome. They have a resiliency but also a level of care and compassion for each other. They are an amazing, unique and beautiful team.”

While teammates (left to right) Hannah Magnuson, Marcella Mahon, Annika Trask and Nicole Hughes look on, Riverside’s Jayden Armstrong (5) tries to beat the block of the South Delta Sun Devils in Saturday’s B.C. Quad-A final. (Photo by Sarah Kempner property of Sarah Kempner Photography 2021. All Rights Reserved)

And worthy champions based on the quality of team they had to get past in the South Delta Sun Devils.

“For Dan Burgess, and all of the things he has done at South Delta, we have nothing but respect for them,” Gee said of the Tsawwassen squad, so many of whom have connections with the Rapids through shared time together over the years within the club system.

“That made the match even more emotional,” said Gee. “But the reality is they beat us on our own home court, in the final at our Red Serge tournament, and our girls were not happy with that. They carried that with them. I knew it would help make for a great match.”

Indeed it did,

Riverside won 3-2 (25-17, 15-25, 23-25, 26-24, 15-9) but needed an epic fourth-set performance after the Sun Devils’ own epic third.

Down 24-23, the Rapids’ captain Emily Wezeman, later selected a tournament first-team all-star, served out to save her team’s season, setting the stage for a deciding 15-9 fifth-set victory and the title.

“The seconds felt like an eternity, but the girls regulated their emotions, and their effort and energy was incredible,” added Gee. “But it was so intense the kids were having trouble breathing.”

The Riverside Rapids kept their focus en route to back-to-back five-set wins in the semifinals and finals at the B.C. Quad-A championships which wrapped up Saturday at Dover Bay Secondary in Nanaimo. (Photo by Sarah Kempner property of Sarah Kempner Photography 2021. All Rights Reserved)

The match was preceded by a 3-2 semifinal win over Nanaimo District in which Islanders’ fans produced a level of noise that at times had the Rapids struggling to maintain their focus.

In the end, however, they won 27-29, 25-18,13-25, 25-17, 15-9.

Riverside’s Annika Trask was selected tournament MVP while Wezeman and Jayden Armstrong, along with South Delta’s Mackenzie Campbell  and Jane McDonald were honoured as first-team all-stars. Joining that quartet were Nanaimo District’s Tianna Kehler and Kelowna’s Abby Hettinga.

Lauren Way of Riverside and Myah Cressy of South Delta were among a group honoured as second team all-stars (full list below).

Riverside’s senior power hitter Ava Pocrnic served out the final five points of the match and was outstanding under pressure while throughout the tournament, libero Marcella Mahon made some spectacular digs and was a key piece in the championship puzzle.

Rounding out the top eight in order from third to eight: Kelowna, Nanaimo District, Mt. Boucherie, Pinetree, R.E. Mountain, Seaquam. 

Host Dover Bay raised over $2,500 for B.C. Children’s Hospital in memory of the late Michelle Reilly, a former Dolphins player who lost her battle with cancer. The host team and Vancouver Island champions had played the tournament in Reilly’s honour and finished in 12th place. 

The B.C. Quad-A champions from Riverside Secondary are (back row, left to right) Audrey Giles, Annika Trask, Jayden Armstrong, Hannah Magnuson, Nicole Hughes, Lauren Way, Abby Way, Francesca Frey, Ana Restea, Ava Pocrnic, Bryan Gee (head coach). (Front row, left to right) Alanna Yao (coach), Nele Kaufmann, Kyla Smith, Emily Wezeman, Jayda Fai, Marcella Mahon, Kilara Aragon, Ara Christie. Not pictured – Taissia Goundrova (coach). (Photo property of Riverside Athletics 2021. All Rights Reserved)


Annika Trask – PoCo-Riverside


Tianna Kehler – NDSS

Abby Hettinga – Kelowna

Mackenzie Campbell – South Delta

Jane McDonald – South Delta

Jayden Armstrong – Riverside

Emily Wezeman – Riverside


Megan Jones – Coquitlam-Pinetree

Kirsten Hill – kelowna-Mt. Boucherie

Simran Rai – North Delta-Seaquam

Alannah Wright – Nanaimo District

Lauren Way – PoCo-Riverside

Myah Cressy – South Delta


Taryn Hope – Kelowna

If you’re reading this story or viewing these photos on any website other than one belonging to a university athletic department, it has been taken without appropriate permission. In these challenging times, true journalism will survive only through your dedicated support and loyalty. and all of its exclusive content has been created to serve B.C.’s high school and university sports community with hard work, integrity and respect. Feel free to drop us a line any time at

One thought on “Riverside Rapids’ B.C. Quad-A girls volleyball title makes school history! Seniors complete a B.C. championship trilogy in heart-stopping fashion!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *