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North Okanagan volleyball stars on display in Calgary

Nine women and men taking part in Canada Cup tournament

Nine North Okanagan players are competing for B.C. teams this week at the Canada Cup volleyball tournament in Calgary.

The event runs July 21-24.

Best friends James Helfrick and Rory O’Brien are playing for Team B.C. U17 Red in Men’s Div. 1 while Devon Sales Parno is on the U16 B.C. Blue squad in the same division.

B.C. Red began play Thursday, July 21, with a 3-0 win over New Brunswick Maroon, 25-14, 25-23, 25-21.

The trio of high-performance athletes had to participate in an intense selection tryout process. First, the three players advanced from a regional tryout for the Okanagan to the Team B.C. tryouts held at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops July 6-10. This tryout included the top 70 athletes from across the province and the final team was selected July 10.

During the training camp each athlete was measured upon arrival and evaluated for their spike touch.

Helfrick, standing 6-foot-4, is an outside hitter with the highest spike touch in the province touching 11 feet 5 inches, a mere two inches more than bestie O’Brien, who is also 6-4 and an outside hitter.

Somebody, of course, has to get the balls to the hitters and that’s where the six-foot tall Sales Parno comes in. He’s a setter for the U16 team.

Helfrick attends and plays volleyball at Vernon Secondary School where he led his team as captain. O’Brien and Sales Parno attend and play for the Kalamalka Secondary School Lakers in Coldstream. All three are members of the Vernon Sky Volleyball Club. O’Brien is captain of his club squad.

Former high school standouts Liam Remple from Vernon Christian School, Madison Gardner of the Seaton Sonics and Olivia Tymkiw of the Kal Lakers will use the Canada Cup as a tune-up for the Canada Summer Games in Niagara, Ont. Aug. 6-21. The trio is playing for their respective B.C. squads in Calgary.

Remple, who plays collegiately for the Trinity Western University Spartans in Langley, and the B.C. men opened play Thursday with a 25-15, 25-18, 25-11 romp over Team Yukon.

Gardner, Tymkiw and the B.C. women defeated Nova Scotia in their Canada Cup opener, 25-17, 25-20, 25-16.

Former Fulton Maroons star Makenna Doyle is playing with B.C. Blue in the women’s tournament.

Vernon Secondary’s Lauren Hoard, who plays club volleyball with the Vernon Firehawks, is a member of the B.C. Red squad.

The Canada Cup wraps up Sunday, July 24.

This story was updated Monday, July 25, to eliminate the name of Vernon’s Olivia Pedersen, who was in the original story but was, in fact, not playing in Calgary. We apologize for the error.

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About the Author: Vernon Morning Star Staff

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