The Burnaby North Vikings will be going to the quad A B.C. high school girls' volleyball provincials as the No. 2 Lower Mainland seed.
The unranked Vikes defeated North Shore champion Argyle Pipers 15-11 in a fifth-set tiebreaker in the semifinals at Killarney Secondary on Saturday.
The victory in the semi-final over Argyle ensured North of a choice seeding at the provincials to be held at Riverside Secondary from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1.
But it took a lot of soul searching and a fourth-set comeback to do it.
"This was our best chance to advance," said North setter Cecelia Su. "In the first set we played like a team - lots of energy. But when they found our weak spots, our energy went from high to low. . We had to want it, really want it."
And North proved they did.
After a perhaps surprising and near-perfect opening 25-15 set over Argyle, the Pipers took a 2-1 lead following 25-20, 25-18 wins in the next two sets.
Facing elimination, the Vikes gutted out a 25-23 win to force a fifth and final set. Grade 9 Kaitlyn Tsang had a kill and shared block with junior Stephanie Chau before scoring the game-winning point.
In the tiebreaker, senior power Layla Balooch scored eight of North's final points, including her 19th kill of the match, to lead the upset over Argyle.
North went on to lose the Mainland final in three sets to No. 7-ranked McMath of Richmond later in the day.
North won its pool with wins over host Killarney and West Vancouver in a three-setter on Thursday. The Vikings advanced into the final four with a 3-0 sweep over Winston Churchill later that evening.
"I'm so happy now that we're guaranteed a spot," said Su. "We don't have to play scared. We can play free."
Burnaby South was unable to advance into Saturday's championship round, finishing third in its pool following losses to both Argyle and Churchill.
Argyle went on to beat Handsworth for the third Mainland qualifying berth.
Elsewhere, the Moscrop junior girls won the Vancouver and District volleyball title with a 2-1 victory over Elphinstone at Handsworth Secondary.
En route to the banner, Moscrop dropped just one set in three games to earn a spot at next week's B.C. junior provincials at South Delta Secondary on Nov. 23 and 24.
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