The second-ranked B.C. AA Fulton Maroons settled for bronze at the 39-team Best of the West Senior Boys and Girls Volleyball Tournament, hosted by Kelowna Secondary.
Placed in a power pool, Fulton’s first match was against No. 1 AA MEI of Clearbrook, with the Fraser Valley school taking advantage of a slow Maroons start for a 25-17, 25-23 win.
“The boys usually are a freight train team; slow to start and then full-steam ahead. Unfortunately, you can’t do that against a team of this calibre,” said Fulton head coach Richard Bedard.
Fulton then took on No. 3-ranked AAA school, Mt. Boucherie Bears of West Kelowna, winning handily 25-18, 25-18.
The Maroons finished the round-robin with a 25-21, 25-13 win over No. 6 AAA Penticton Lakers.
In the round of 16, Fulton played No. 5 AA Langley Christian Lightning, where they beat them 29-27 and 25-22. Their quarter final was against the George Elliott Coyotes of Lake Country, with the Maroons advancing to the final four with a 25-20, 25-19 decision.
In the semi final, they played No. 3-ranked 4A Jasper Place Rebels of Edmonton.
“Considering they have 2,500 students from Grades 10-12 in their school, our boys held their own but we lost 25-23, 25-22, said Bedard. “The boys went out losing to a really good team but didn’t let up.”
Danny Aspenlieder and Bryn Bedard were selected tournament all-stars for the Maroons, who took on the Seaton Sonics in league play Tuesday, and are entered in the Thompson Rivers University tournament this weekend in Kamloops.
Sharon Shaigec’s Maroons went 4-2 in the senior girls event at the Best of the West.
The Maroons placed first in pool play, defeating Surrey’s Enver Creek 25-8 ,25-17, Carver Christian of Burnaby 25-17, 25-21 and Prince Charles of Creston 25-16, 25-22.
In the playoff round, Fulton lost a close match to Belrose of Edmonton, 25-21, 16-25, 9-15, defeated 4A Rutland Voodoos 25-21, 25-22 and lost to AA Selkirk of Kimberley, 20-25, 13-25.
“Our team is definitely improving in all areas of our game, but we have work to do on our serve receive,” said Shaigec, whose Maroons took on the Seaton Sonics in league play Tuesday.
“We are a strong serving team with Kieanna Boomer-Jones going on a nine-point serving streak, and Emily Dahl, Sarah Orr and Jessica Thompson with five-point runs.”
Maria Hansen’s Kal Lakers finished tied for 10th at the Best of the West.
In pool play, Kal lost to Pen-Hi 21-25, 25-13, 13-15, showing their full potential in the second set where Skylar Elliot had five kills and libero Natalie Bienias controlled the back court. Carmen Pavlov was strong at the net throughout the set from the middle position.
The Lakers took care of Langley Fundamental 25-17, 25-19 with Ania Splawinski working the big block well, Amanda Filice – currently recovering from a back injury – played very well from power and Maya Bandy was outstanding all weekend quarterbacking the offence.
Kal dominated DW Poppy of Langley, 25-14, 25-10, in their final pool match. Shayle Routley came in with strong hitting and serving against Poppy. Grade 11 Jamie Grages also had a strong showing from the power side, registering four kills and making some excellent defensive pick-ups. Mya Parmar showed great hustle at setter.
In their first playoff game, Kal came up against a tough Jasper Place squad from Edmonton, falling 19-25, 14-25, with the Lakers’ Kennedy Wright putting on a blocking clinic against a tough Jasper Place offence.
On Saturday morning, the Lakers played its best team match of the tourney, downing Kelowna’s Immaculata 25-15, 25-23.
“Alexa Tymkiw was a force from the right side all weekend, but was particularly dominant in this match,” said Hansen. “Once again Wright was strong in the middle. Skylar Elliot also played well being moved from power to middle.”
Kelowna’s Okanagan Mission Huskies frustrated the Lakers with a dump-style offence in Kal’s final game, scoring an 18-25, 16-25 victory.
Lydia Wood played well defensively coming up with a number of digs against a scrappy OKM offence.