Morning Star Staff/Black Press Sports
The MEI Eagles of Abbotsford defeated the Fulton Maroons 3-0 (25-11, 25-20, 25-15) in Saturday’s gold-medal match at the B.C. Senior AA Volleyball Championships at the Langley Events Centre.
The Eagles capped a historic 37-1 season by not losing a single set in either pool or playoff play during the four-day event. Fulton was the only opponent to even reach 20 points in a set against the blue-and-gold.
The Eagles did not fall to a Double-A squad this season, falling only once all year to the Triple-A Kelowna Secondary Owls before getting revenge for that loss later in the season.
This was the first time since 1985 that a Fulton senior boys team had reached the final (Fulton won in ‘85).
“Our goal this year was to make the final,” said Fulton head coach Richard Bedard. “We knew that MEI was the best team in Western Canada, so the boys were pretty relaxed once we met our goal.
“We had crazy finishes in our quarterfinals and our semifinal, so this was a great finish for us. It was the best season since the boys were so great to coach and we were truly a team.”
MEI had even defeated all the teams on the AAA side of the draw, including the champion Earl Marriot Mariners of Surrey, in previous tournaments.
Ryan Doerges and Danny Aspenlieder of Fulton were named first-team all-stars, while honourable mentions went out to Bryn Bedard and Nick Prystupa.
The Maroons also received the Most Sportsmanlike team.
“The referees vote after each match for the most sportsmanlike team, so not only were the boys playing their hardest, but they were also doing it with integrity,” said Bedard.
According to MEI coach Jordan Geransky, this year’s team was “a perfect storm of some really special athletes. There’s a core that really knows how to compete together, and they also know how to bring the guys that are on the fringe into the core of the team.
“Whereas in their junior year it felt like we had four or five core guys, this year felt like we had 14 core guys. It was a combination of leadership, athleticism, and volleyball skill.”
Jordan Koslowsky was brilliant for MEI at setter, while fellow senior Jordan Loewen and Grade 11 Kaden Gamache proved merciless on the attack.
All 14 MEI players were rotated into the game. The Eagles, who have finished in the top-three in each of the last 13 provincial tournaments, are now in possession of nine titles.
Gamache, Loewen, and Levi Block were all awarded first team all-stars. Koslowsky won Most Outstanding Player, while Keaton Boughen took home Most Outstanding Libero.
The Maroons will be in good shape for next year.
“We have five Grade 11’s on the team – three of them were honored as standouts,” said Bedard. “We have a good group of juniors coming up. I’m already excited about what next season could be like.”
The Maroons also included Jordy Barr, Kody Glinsbockel, Karanmeet Khatra, Jake O’Quinn, Connor Shannon, and assistant coach/manager Karen Bedard.