Sports

Vernon Panthers take on Semiahmoo Totems in semifinals

The No. 4-ranked VSS Panthers have been told they match up very well with the top-ranked Semiahmoo Totems of Surrey.

The two met in a late Saturday morning semifinal at the B.C. Senior AAA Girls Volleyball Championships at Little Flower Academy in Vancouver.

Keith Becker’s Panthers appeared primed for the final-four showdown after a 3-1 (25-14, 20-25, 25-22, 25-20) victory over the Ballenas Whalers of Parksville Friday night.

“The girls played fantastic,” said Becker. “We finally found third gear and that meant the girls were running clicks and hitting hard.

“We got huge blocks from Ashton McKenzie and Karly Fugel, and Sierra Becker at offside allowed our power, Avery Bridge, to get some big kills. Our setters, Mary Rice and Hannah Nesbitt, were awesome.”

No. 2 Little Flower Angels battled third-rated Nanaimo Islanders in Saturday’s other semi. The final of the 16-team playdowns went Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

“Teams that were watching us said we were better than Semiahmoo so we’ll see what happens,” said Becker.

In pool play, VSS swept MEI Eagles of Clearbook 2-0, iced L.V. Rogers of Nelson 2-0 and brushed back Point Grey Greyhounds of Vancouver 2-1.

In Friday’s crossover playoff, the Panthers outlasted the Kelly Road Roadrunners of Prince George 3-1 (25-18, 25-21, 19-25, 25-14).

At the Senior AA Girls championships in Nanaimo, the No. 5 Kalamalka Lakers won their pool, advancing to battle the No. 2 Surrey Christian Falcons in Saturday morning semis.

The Lakers bounced the No. 6 College Heights Cougars of Prince George 3-1. The Lakers dropped the first set 21-25, but raised their game in the second. Sam Bienias steadied the back row and the Lakers started passing. This enabled Toni Vandenbrink and Vicki Schley to start pounding the ball.

Kalamalka rolled through the final three sets 25-16, 25-13 and 25-17 with some exceptional play from Daralyn Schepp. Kaelyn Parmelee played some very smart shots. Emily Thorlakson put down a couple of over bumps. Megan Squair hustled all over the court and did a great job distributing the ball.

Kal went undefeated in preliminary play, icing the ninth-ranked Lambrick Park Lions of Victoria (25-22, 25-17), David Thompson Trojans of Vancouver (25-14, 25-14) and No. 3 Langley Fundamental Titans (25-21, 25-15).

Kal started the playoffs Friday with a 3-0 (25 15, 25-17 and 25-19) victory over Brentwood College Blackhawks of Mill Bay.

The Vernon Christian Royals faced the Sparwood Spartans for fifth place at the Senior A boys championships Saturday at UBC Okanagan.

After their 3-1 loss to the Credo Christian Kodiaks of Langley in the quarterfinals, the Royals rebounded against the Richmond Eagles in a tight three-game (26-28, 26-24, 15-12) match Friday afternoon.

The Eagles took the first set, and with Vernon trailing 24-20 in the second, Sam Koch started a comeback with an ace. Travis Hoogland dominated the middle and Adam Ensing sealed the victory with a kill.

The Royals were led once again in the third set by Hoogland, Koch and Ryan Price from the outside. Zac Dubland made some great back-row digs while Aaron Spence led the attack with solid setting.

Meanwhile, VSS claimed 10th place after falling in straight sets (24-26, 11-25) to College Heights in Senior AA Boys provincials Friday at UBC Okanagan.

In earlier consolation play, VSS took down the Highland Raiders of Comox in straight sets (25-22, 25-19) before grounding the Revelstoke Rams 2-1 (21-25, 25-21, 15-13).

The Fulton Maroon shared 11th place with Revelstoke, ending their tourney with a 2-1 loss to College Heights (20-25, 25-16, 10-15) Friday.

Fulton swept the Charles Hays Hurricanes of Prince Rupert 25-12, 25-17 Thursday afternoon.

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