Jessica Melvin helped the VSS Panthers strike volleyball gold at the Princess Margaret Mustangs Mania Tournament.

Jessica Melvin helped the VSS Panthers strike volleyball gold at the Princess Margaret Mustangs Mania Tournament.

Panthers capture Mustang Mania

The Vernon Panthers went undefeated for gold at the Princess Margaret Mustang Mania Senior Girls Volleyball Tournament in Penticton.

Morning Star Staff

The Vernon Panthers went undefeated in collecting gold at the Princess Margaret Mustang Mania Senior Girls Volleyball Tournament last weekend in Penticton.

The AAA Cats brushed back Kelowna’s Immuculata A Mustangs twice Saturday – once to top their pool and again in the championship game – to earn the title.

Jordan Korol earned game MVP in the final for her role in shutting down the lanky Mustangs’ middle attack, with some huge stuff blocks and big kills.

Setter Tanner Lorenson received a Tournament Workhorse Award for leadership on and off the court, and Jessica Melvin earned one for her positive energy.

“It truly was a real team effort this weekend, and each and every one of the girls deserves recognition,” said head coach Keith Becker.

“The team is getting stronger as we continue to play. We have a very busy schedule this year and are working towards a provincial berth again to try to better the seventh-place finish last year.”

VSS jumpstarted its weekend by slamming the Pen-Hi AAAA Lakers 2-0 (25-14, 25-17) Friday afternoon, followed by a sweep (25-18, 25-19) of the host Mustangs. Maggie is a strong attacking team, providing a solid test for Vernon’s defence.

In their final match Friday, Vernon took the third set 15-7 to brush back the Fulton AA Maroons 2-1.

Sharon Shaigec’s Maroons finished fifth.

The Panthers continued their momentum Saturday morning by quickly dispatching the Rutland AAAA Voodoos in straight sets (25-14, 25-16).

“This is what kids love and remember about their time in school, the experiences and memories that are created on and off the court as a team will stick with them forever,” said Mustangs senior girls’ volleyball coach and tournament director Tim Haberstock. “This is one of my favourite things about being an educator and I am just glad to be getting going so quickly.”

VSS is entered in the UBC Okanagan Heat Invitational this weekend.