Fulton Maroons' Hana Ouchi (facing) deftly sends the ball over the net and past VSS Panthers' Sonora Bohaychuk in North Zone Senior Girls Volleyball League action Tuesday at Fulton Secondary.

Lakers bottle up Cats

The host Pen-High Lakers stopped the VSS Panthers 25-16, 25-14 in the bronze-medal match of a senior boys volleyball tournament Saturday.

The host Pen-High Lakers stopped the VSS Panthers 25-16, 25-14 in the bronze-medal match of a senior boys volleyball tournament Saturday.

The Kelowna Owls swept the Mt. Boucherie Bears of West Kelowna in the final.

“It was a good start of the season for the Panthers in a rebuilding year,” said VSS head coach Germano Brunello. “With very few athletes at the junior and senior level, a team comprised of Grades 9-12 was created.”

The Cats squeezed past the George Elliot Coyotes of Winfield 2-0 (25-22, 25-23) to open the round-robin, followed by a 25-15, 25-13 loss to Pen-High.

VSS later outlasted the Kelowna Christian School Knights 29-27, 25-16 to end up second in preliminary action.

In the championship round, VSS started by grounding the Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton 25-18, 25-22 before the Owls stopped the Panthers 25-22, 25-22 in the semis.

Mt. Boucherie upset the Lakers to make the finals and send Pen-High to the bronze match.

“For an inexperienced team, they performed well, were composed and played very sound defensively. With this crew, VSS has potential to do well with more experience and growth,” said Brunello.

Ryan Ryder was chosen as a tournament all-star.

The Fulton Maroons went 3-2 at the UBC Senior Girls Invitational last weekend.

The Maroons beat Duchess Park Condors of Prince George 2-0 (25-16, 25-18), iced St. Thomas Aquinas Fighting Saints of North Vancouver 2-1 (21-25, 25-18, 15-11) and lost 2-0 (25-19, 25-16) to Surrey Christian to finish second in their pool.

On Saturday, Fulton defeated Dover Bay Dolphins of Nanaimo 25-12, 25-19, but then fell 25-21, 25-20 to Highland Raiders of Comox.

Six-foot-one blocker Kolby Richter was solid in the middle, averaging four blocks per match, Laura Rozka came through with some clutch hits from the power position and an injured Christie Allen played through a sprained ankle to contribute some tough serves and well-placed hits.

Kelli Watson ran a varied attack as setter and showed great composure overall. Defensive specialist Jessica Houghton was consistent on serve receive and Hana Ouchi, Alana Young, Danielle Olson, Jacquie Banks and Allie Sheehan all stepped up when needed.

The Maroons turned back VSS 3-0 (25-12, 25-8, 25-22) in North Zone League play Tuesday night at Fulton.

“Overall I was happy with our team’s play,” said Fulton head coach Sharon Shaigec. “It is still very early in the season so we have lots of room for improvement.”

Richter and Ouchi crushed the ball in the middle and recorded six outright blocks. Watson continued to show leadership and composure running the Fulton offence.

The Maroons host the Seaton Sonics in Tuesday league play (5:30).

The Vernon Christian Royals rallied from their last-place pool finish to stop Fulton 2-0 (26-24, 25-19) and ground Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton 2-1 (25-22, 22-25, 15-13) to earn a berth in the semifinals of the UBCO Heat Junior Boys Invitational.

“Every game on Friday was close, but we came up just a few points short each match,” said Royals’ coach Jason Ree. “On Saturday, the boys really focused an minimized their mistakes.”

The Royals finished fourth, losing out to powerful Pen-High in the semis, and then dropping a close match to Mt. Boucherie in the bronze-medal tilt.


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