Panthers rally past Coyotes

The VSS Panthers rallied for a 3-2 (13-25, 15-25, 32-30, 25-11, 15-10) win over visiting George Elliot Coyotes in senior boys volleyball.

Morning Star Staff

The VSS Panthers rallied for a 3-2 (13-25, 15-25, 32-30, 25-11, 15-10) win over visiting George Elliot Coyotes in senior boys volleyball action Wednesday night.

In the third set, Brayden Damini, Shelby Hartwig and Landon Matties all provided huge hits and powerful blocks to keep the Cats moving. Damini ended the home-opener game with a monster hit.

VSS took the fourth set on consistent serves and sizzling saves from Jason Reich, strong plays from Jarrod Fisher and bold setting from Nolan Weins. In the final tiebreaker, the determined Panthers got some dynamic digs from junior call-up Eric Embleton, while Hartwig  Damini and Matties dominated at the net.

Meanwhile, the Fulton Maroons placed sixth out of 16 teams at the Princess Margaret Mustangs senior girls tournament last weekend.

Fulton lost to No. 1 ranked A Kelowna Christian Knights 25-17, 25-13, defeated AA Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops 25-9, 25-18 and then dropped a close final match to AA Merritt Panthers 25-23, 27-25, 12-15 in pool play.

Erin Sakamoto of the Maroons was awarded the Tournament Workhorse Award with Sakamoto, Brittany Skrenek, Shaina Banta, Alexa Lewis, Nazarena Wurz and Nicole Watson taking Player of the Match awards.

In their first Zone league game of the season Tuesday night in Revelstoke, the Maroons defeated the Avalanche 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-17).

The Maroons have been declared as an AA team this year along with Kalamalka Lakers and Revelstoke. Vernon Panthers are AAA.

“The coaching staff noted great improvement from the first game in the tournament to last night’s game,” said Fulton head coach Sharon Shaigec.

“Our team has eight first-year players so the learning curve will be steep to adapt to senior girls volleyball. We are very fortunate to have acquired Corpus Christi, Texas-born NCAA Division 1 player Megan Fichtel as an assistant coach.”

Fichtel studied marketing at the University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA) after playing high school ball for the maroon and white Flour Bluff Hornets in Corpus Christi.

The Maroons begin play today in the 28-team Thompson Rivers University WolfPack Invitational.