Cats set for home tournament

The VSS Panthers open their home tournament Friday after a stellar finish in Kelowna.

The Vernon Panthers appear primed for their home tournament after finishing fourth in their tier at the 48-team Kelowna Owls Best of the West Senior Girls Volleyball Tournament last weekend.

Keith Becker’s AAA crew fell in straight games to the No. 1 ranked AA Pacific Academy Breakers of Surrey in Saturday’s bronze-medal match.

Rated fourth in the province, the Cats fell in three games to the AA Langley Fundamental Titans in the semifinal, losing the third set 15-13.

VSS was third in pool play after losing to Pacific Academy, defeating Sturgeon Composite Spirits of Namao, Alta. and then falling in the third set to top-rated A Kelowna Christian Knights.

The Panthers then swept the No. 7 AAAA South Kamloops Titans 25-23, 25-19 in the top-eight crossover before icing the Harry Ainlay Titans of Edmonton in three sets.

“This was a very good team building weekend for the Panthers,” said Becker. “All of the girls played very well this weekend, and continue to get stronger as the season continues.

“We received big blocking from Sage Blundell and great passing from Searra Becker and Danika Damini. The Workhorse Award went to Hanna Nesbit for her outstanding setting. Outside hitter Quinsy Leier received a Best of the West all-star.”

VSS opens tournament play Friday at 1 p.m. against the Mt. Boucherie Bears.

The senior girls will hold a Pro-D day skills camp for Grade 5-7 girls and boys from 9-11:30 a.m. for $20. Register by e-mailing: vsspanthersvolleyball@gmail.com or show up at the VSS gym at 8:45 a.m.

The Fulton Maroons advanced to the Tier 1  playoffs in the Best of the West before losing 25-19, 25-15 to AAAA Earl Marriott Mariners of Surrey in the quarterfinals.

Fulton bowed 25-13, 25-22 to Holy Trinity of Edmonton before falling in four sets to the  Immaculata Mustangs of Kelowna.

“The last match versus Immaculata was definitely our best match of the tournament,” said Fulton coach Sharon Shaigec. “We executed the offence very well and we made some key defensive digs and blocks to keep the ball alive and score points.”

Earlier, Fulton won their Tier 2 pool by grounding the AAA Fleetwood Park Dragons of Surrey 2-0, defeating AAAA Walnut Grove Gators of Langley 2-1 and sweeping AA Fernie Falcons.

“Jessica Houghton is proving that she has the capabilities to dig with the best in the west as she recorded six defensive saves and passed exceptionally on serve receive (versus Mariners),” said Shaigec.

The Maroons open the VSS tournament Friday at 1 p.m. against Williams Lake. The final goes Saturday at 1:50 p.m.