Morning Star Staff
The Fulton Maroons will be the No. 3 seed at the B.C. Senior AA Boys Volleyball Championships Dec. 2-5 at the Langley Event Centre.
Richard Bedard’s boys repeated as Okanagan Valley champions Saturday night at Sa-Hali Secondary in Kamloops, winning 3-1 (22-25, 25-11, 25-17, 25-15) over the George Elliot Coyotes of Lake Country.
Again, the Maroons had a slow start to their match.
“We need to start stronger out of the gates, but they had some hitting and serving errors and couldn’t get any momentum going,” said Bedard .
“George Elliot passed and hit well so that was the difference. But once they got going, they dominated until the end of the match.”
Fulton also defeated the Seaton Sonics 2-0 (25-22, 25-19), Valleyview Vikings 3-0 (25-10, 25-9, 25-22) and Sa-Hali Sabres 3-0 (25-10, 25-9, 25-18) in the round-robin and playoff rounds.
This same group of Maroons took the 2013 Valley junior boys title over the Mt. Boucherie Bears of West Kelowna. The Sonics are No. 9 for the 16-team provincials.
In senior AAA girls play, Sa-Hali knocked off the host VSS Panthers in Saturday’s final to avenge a round-robin loss.
Both teams advance to the provincials, Dec. 2-5, at the Panther Pit. The UBC O Heat will face the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in a university women’s exhibition match next Wednesday night to open the B.C. finals.
Keith Becker’s Cats won four of five preliminary matches, stopping Sa-Hali 2-1 (19-25, 25-21, 15-7), falling 25-20, 25-16 to the Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna, outlasting Seaton 2-1 (25-23, 13-25, 15-12), sweeping the South Kam Titans 25-19, 25-23 and icing Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops 25-16, 25-23.
Meanwhile, Seaton used home-court advantage and bounced the Mt. Boucherie Bears of West Kelowna 2-0 (25-21 and 25-18) in Saturday’s final of the Valley Junior Girls Volleyball Championships.
The Sonics and Bears have enjoyed a fierce battle this season with Mt. Boucherie holding a 3-1 series lead going into the final.
The Sonics, coached by Jeff Huggins and Kendra Kryszak, played a solid match by controlling the play and never trailing. Dana Kievit set the tone early with several kills from the left side. Ella Oduro took control at the net and Maisa Orosz had several blasts from the middle. Maddie Roemer is a serving specialist who built leads all weekend as she dissected opponents.
Gabby Triggs sent a clear message in the second set that Seaton was going to dominate the match by serving nine straight points. Boucherie was never able to recover. Rose Harned had moments of brilliance as she patrolled the backline making numerous excellent passes to start the attack.
“Mason Christensen and Kalli Hamilton-Gee had a strong tourney as they set up the hitters and put them in position to succeed,” said Huggins.
The Sonics started with the KSS Owls in front of a packed and wildly enthusiastic house. Seaton fed off the great atmosphere by stuffing the Owls 2-1 (25-7, 24-26, 15-11).
The Sonics then swept Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton 25-6 and 25-21. Wynter Vanderveen had several shots down the line and Hannah McCaffrey had multiple kills from the middle.
Seaton was down 11-1 to the South Kam Titans and appeared done until gritty Alyssa Racine stepped on the court and turned everything around with some great serving and back row play. Racine sparked a comeback with Seaton winning 25-20, 25-10.
The Sonics finished preliminary play by sinking the Kalamalka Lakers 25-16, 25-14 before brushing back Valleyview 25-14, 25-18 in the semis.
“The Sonics are a fantastic group of girls and have had a great season having only lost two sets all season in league and playoffs,” said Huggins.
Seaton moves to the provincials starting Thursday at Seaquam Secondary in Delta.
The Seaton junior and senior boys also advance to the B.C. playdowns.
Nathan Lee’s junior Sonics placed second in the Valleys at Pen-Hi, falling 3-1 to the host Lakers in Saturday’s final.
Seaton starts the provincials Thursday morning at Mt. Boucherie against Sa-Hali. The Sonics meet the Duchess Park Condors of Prince George and Mt. Baker Trojans of Cranbrook in afternoon matches.
The Sonics toppled tourney favourite Okanagan Mission 25-20, 25-21 in the semis. Trent Graham and Nakoda Parker set the tone early with some key blocks in the middle, while strong back-row defence and some tough serving stymied the OK Mission attack. Outside hitters Ben Poulin and Simon Ufimzeff scored key points and right side hitter Xander Sladen played some of his best volleyball of the season.
Seaton stopped the South Okanagan Hornets of Oliver 25-16, 25-18 in the quarterfinals. Strong passing from Noah Schneider and Elijah Burnham, coupled with a varied front-row attack with some excellent setting by Landen Harison, paced the Sonics.
In Kamloops, the senior Sonics iced the Sabres 3-1 for bronze and a spot in the B.C.s, Dec. 2-5, at the Langley Event Centre.
The boys had to bounce back quickly after a grueling five-set loss to George Elliot in the semifinals. Fane Triggs and Dave Roemer coach the Sonics.