Lightning Volleyball Storms Back in 2021

Lightning Volleyball Storms Back in 2021

Blog Landing chevron_right Lightning Volleyball Storms Back in 2021 chevron_right

After a season away from the courts, LCS’ grade 8s, juniors and senior teams were back competing in volleyball around the province this fall and represented our outstanding athletics program well. Throughout the Covid shutdown in 2020-21, athletic directors Jon Mayan and Jon Keuhl worked hard at bringing back Lightning Athletics stronger than ever.


In boys volleyball, the AA Provincial Championship tournament is arguably the most difficult to win. Langley Christian is engraved on the trophy three times. Even though AA schools are fewer and have fewer students to draw from than AAA and AAAA schools, many of the AA schools in BC have long standing traditions of producing some of the best boys volleyball players in the province, and have fought hard to reach the finals over the years. Every year the LCS boys are in tough against teams from Abbotsford Christian, MEI, College Heights, Duchess Park, Langley Fundamental, Pacific Academy, and some of the best teams in the Okanagan. Reaching the AA finals is no easy feat.

These boys worked extremely hard all season and improved tremendously. We finished strong and reached the AA final for the second time in a row, but fell just short. They should be proud of who they’ve become and how they represented our program.

Brynden Mactavish, Senior Boys head coach
Outside hitters SIlas Vanhuizen & Lucas Woelders recognized as first team all stars at AA Provincial Championships will follow in the tradition of some outstanding Lightning grads and play at the post secondary level next fall.

This year the senior boys finished 2nd or 3rd in almost every tournament they entered, and won the Pacific Academy Halloween tournament. Their nemesis all season was MEI. Coming into the provincial finals, the Lightning had dropped 6 straight matches, all of them very close, to MEI. That 0-6 record against MEI included losses in two tournament semi-finals, the Eastern Valley Championship final and seniors night.

The Lightning entered the tournament ranked 4th in the province. LCS dropped its opening match against MEI at the provincial tournament, and finished the power pool play on the first day with the third place seeding. After an easy 3-0 win in the round of 16, the boys beat College Heights in the quarter final in 3 straight to set the stage for a seventh match of the season against MEI in the semis. Playing the most complete game of their season, LCS beat MEI in 5 exhausting sets to reach the final.

In a heart-breaking final match, LCS won the first set but couldn’t overcome a Duchess Park team that played amazing defence who who were supported by one of the most hostile crowds ever experienced at a high school championship. Overall, a season of highs and lows ended successfully with silver medals and recognition for two players, Silas Vanhuizen and Lucas Woelders, who will go on to play post-secondary volleyball next season. This team showed resilience and hard work all season. Coach Brynden Mactavish did an outstanding job with this team, maximizing their talent to produce a very competitive team who had an exceptional and unexpected finish to their season, and more importantly, they represented LCS Athletics with class at every tournament they played.

If there was a “Fan of the Year” award, this year it would go to Jeff Mueller for his relentless support of this team and every player on it at virtually every game.


Volleyball can be an anxiety-producing sport. The senior girls’ season was definitely a season of ups and downs. The Lightning women showed lots of resilience and growth and always had fun despite the highs and lows of the season.

One highlight of the season was our final tournament “Senior Hawks Rally in the Valley”. These girls were on fire and fought till the bitter end in the gold medal game, losing in the 3rd set by 2 points to Mount Douglas who were undefeated the whole tournament.  Many of these girls are gearing up for their last club season before graduating. Some of the girls may pursue playing options in post secondary, but it’s been a tough couple years with Covid and so some may move on and enjoy some recreational volleyball next year. Lightning Athletics is thankful for the contributions of coaches Jodi Horak and MJ Visscher this season.  


No school in BC volleyball was as dominant in both boys and girls as LCS was this season. At the TRU tournament in October, the Lightning took home gold in both the boys and girls tournament beating many of the province’s best volleyball programs along the way. With no division of competition into A, AA, AAA and AAAA, all of the provinces’ teams compete against one another at the grade 9-10 level.

Grade 10 girls finished with a record of 37-0 against all competition this season.

The grade 9 girls team coached by former Pac West volleyball player, and LCS teacher, Julianna Howe, also represented LCS well this season. To be able to field four competitive teams, totalling roughly 50 athletes, at the junior level shows how strong participation and grassroots development is in the Lightning Athletics program.

Led by veteran assistant coach, Lisa Bontkes, and head coach – Lightning volleyball alumni and former national team and TWU standout – Kara Davis, the grade 10 girls had an amazing season, winning every single game they played: 37 wins and 0 losses. But more importantly, the girls showed tons of  growth as athletes and people. “We had a lot of fun at practices, games, and tournaments especially on our away tournament in Kamloops where we beat some of the top AAAA teams in the province.” The girls cruised through regular season play to capture the Eastern Valley Championship banner. Though the Provincial Championships was officially cancelled, the junior girls ended the season winning the final tournament where they beat all of the top teams in the all of the lower mainland. The junior girls were arguably the province’s most outstanding team at any level this season.

Junior girls capture gold at Eastern Valley Championships

These girls were an absolute pleasure to coach and spend time with and we are all excited for next year!


The grade 9 boys team coached by LCS alumni Mitch Jarvie and Brandon Visscher, also had an outstanding season going undefeated against older grade 9-10 teams in the Langley District league and finishing in the top 8 of every tournament they played.

The grade 10s were in tough all season against rivals MEI and ACS. The three schools were heads and tails above all other competition across the province at the junior boys level this season. Seasoned veteran LCS coach Eric Vanhuizen led the grade 10 boys to tournament gold at the TRU tournament, TWU tournament and the Eastern Valley Championships this season.

The grade 10 boys were also dominant at the Coastal Championships – the stand-in replacement for provincials due to flooding in November – but fell just short against an ACS team that came up with one of their best performances of the season. But with successful grade 9 and grade 10 teams, the future looks bright for this group over the next two years as they look to follow in the footsteps of LCS teams who have reached the final of the AA Provincials in 4 of the past 6 years.


Grade 8 girls win silver at Eastern Valley Championships

Not to be outdone by the junior and seniors, the grade 8 volleyball teams also put together strong seasons. The boys finished second this year at the Christian schools tournament, while the girls captured gold. The grade 8 boys went on to capture the Eastern Valley championship later in November. With strong showings this year, our program is in good shape to be competitive in the years to come.

Grade 8 boys win gold at Eastern Valley Championships

The LCS Lightning Athletics program is only as strong as the parents, community members and students who come out to support it and make it possible for kids to play sports beginning in elementary school. We are blessed to have such dedicated volunteers and passionate coaches who invest so much in our student athletes, modelling for them service to the glory of God, and coaching them to be outstanding young people who represent our school well in the community. Thank you everyone for an exciting and successful volleyball season. We missed this so much!