Fulton Maroons, Eagles clash for volleyball gold

Fulton, MEI in final of boys AA volleyball championship Saturday night in Langley

Top-ranked MEI Eagles of Clearbrook squared off against No. 2 ranked Fulton Maroons in Saturday night’s final of the B.C. AA boys high school volleyball championships at the Langley Events Centre.

Richard Bedard’s Maroons clawed their way into the championship game Friday night with a thrilling five-set 25-20, 25-23, 23-25, 23-25, 16-14 win over the Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton.

It was the fifth time in five meetings this year Fulton has emerged victorious.

“We knew they’d be gunning for us,” said Bedard. “The offence dropped off significantly from the night before (quarterfinal win over Surrey Christian), but the passing and digging from libero Jake O’Quinn, Kody Glinsbockel and the others made a difference.

“Bryn Bedard was still key on the moving the ball around and made some huge digs and serves when we needed it.”

The Maroons were losing 24-20 in the fourth but tough serving from Karanmeet Khatra helped the Maroons back into a game they ultimately lost, setting the stage for the fifth and deciding game.

“We were down until it was 12-12, then Danny (Aspenlieder) had a huge block,” said Coach Bedard. “Bryn served tough and Nick (Prystupa) had two kills that settled it. It was another stressful match that the boys stayed clutch in. We’re proud of that.”

Fulton advanced to the semifinals Thursday with a five-set 20-25, 25-16, 22-25, 25-14, 15-13 win over Surrey Christian.

The trio of Prystupa, Aspenlieder and Ryan Doerges combined for 62 kills in 84 attempts to lead the Maroons offensively.

“The boys were so pumped about making the final four that they left everything on the floor,” said Coach Bedard.

MEI advanced to the championship match with a three-set win over the fifth-ranked Woodlands Warriors of Nanaimo.

The Eagles’ only loss this season came at the hands of the No.-1 ranked AAA school, the Kelowna Owls.

The Owls played defending champion Earl Marriott Mariners of Surrey in the AAA final in Langley.

In Parksville, Keith Becker’s Vernon Panthers were playing for fifth place at the B.C. AAA high school girls championships.

The Panthers fell 3-1 in quarterfinal action Friday night to Vancouver’s Little Flower Academy.

“It was a tough loss,” said Becker. “But the girls have had a very good weekend, so now we are playing for fifth place in the province.”

VSS went 1-2 in pool play Thursday, but had enough points in a tiebreaker to earn second place in their four-team pool.

The Panthers lost 25-14, 14-25, 15-11 to the host Ballenas Whalers, rebounded to knock off Vancouver’s Windsor Dukes 25-18, 25-21, then closed out the preliminary round with a 25-20, 23-25, 15-11 loss to the College Heights Cougars of Prince George.

Vernon won its opening playoff match Friday, sweeping Hugh McRoberts Strikers of Richmond.