Lakers land fourth at UBC Okanagan Invitational

Kalamalka Lakers collect fourth at the UBC Okanagan Invitational high school senior girls volleyball tournament last weekend.

The Kalamalka Lakers collected fourth place at the UBC Okanagan Invitational high school senior girls volleyball tournament last weekend at UBC Okanagan.

With just eight players, Kal finished second in Tier 1 pool play, rebounding from an opening loss to the Kelowna Owls (15-25 19-25) by stuffing North Vancouver’s AAAA Handsworth Royals 25-17 25-18 and South Slocan’s Mt. Sentinel Wildcats 25-11 18-25 15-9.

Sam Bienias and Megan Squair split setting duties and made great progress on running an efficient attack. Daralynn Schepp came up with some key kills against Sentinel.

“Playing against teams like KSS and KCS (Kelowna Christian Knights) that have 15 players was a bit challenging as the fatigue factor set in,” said Maria Hansen, who was subbing for head coach Jeff Huggins.

In crossover play Saturday, the Lakers swamped Vancouver’s Crofton House Cubs 25-21, 25-18 to advance to the quarterfinals where they grounded the Vernon Panthers 25-19, 25-19.

Facing a tall Kelowna Christian team in the semis, Kal sent it to a third game after a timely stuff block by Emily Thorlakson, but eventually fell 22-25, 25-27, 15-13. Libero Kaely Johnson made some crucial saves to keep the score tight.

Kal pushed the Owls to three games in the consolation final, bowing 14-25, 25-19, 8-15.

Vicky Schley, learning the right side position on the fly, came up with some key digs in the back row. Kaelyn Parmalee and Toni Vandenbrink were solid two-way players all weekend, earning all-star awards.

Meanwhile, the Fulton Maroons settled for 13th at the UBCO tourney.

The Maroons bowed 25-19, 25-20 to the powerhouse Elphinstone Cougars of Gibsons in quarterfinal play Saturday.

“We led for most of the game in both sets, but could not close it out,” said Fulton coach Sharon Shaigec.

In consolation play, Fulton lost in straight sets to a pair of AAAA schools – South Kamloops Titans (25-14, 25-13) and Pen-Hi Lakers (25-18, 25-21).

“South Kam has some very big players and they shut our offence right down,” said Shaigec.

“The team definitely played better as a unit (against Pen-Hi), but once again we were not able to capitalize on free balls and they out-powered us at the net.”

The Maroons head to Kelowna this weekend for the Best of the West Tournament.