A smidge of disappointed in the regular season has been erased by a North Zone junior girls volleyball championship for the Vernon Panthers.
The Cats won the title Thursday, Nov. 10, at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary School, defeating the host the Lakers 25-22, 25-19 in the championship.
Mike Bertram’s squad advanced to the final with a 25-18, 25-18 win over the Seaton Sonics in the final four. VSS had lost to both Kal and Seaton in league play, resulting in a third-place finish.
“We had a six-week period when we didn’t have our full roster due to injuries and sickness, and lost two league games to two very good teams,” said Bertram. “In the playoffs, we had our whole team back and were able to avenge those losses.”
Vernon opened the zones with a 25-12, 25-11 romp over the Revelstoke Avalanche. Peyton Romeril and Saide Quinton led the Panthers, playing with confidence and poise.
In the semfinal win over Seaton, Bertram said Kaydence Kitzul had her sever working and put up “points in bunches for us.” Amelia Spitzer and Addy Beacom passed the ball well which allowed the Cats to run their offence.
“Unfortunately, Seaton had injuries of their own in the playoffs and weren’t at full strength for this game,” said Bertram, who watched his team overcome sluggish starts in both final sets against Kal. The host Lakers led both games by as many as six points early.
Devyn Hildebrand and Charlotte Schommer came up with big, timely kills to help pick up the VSS energy. Paige Leahy, Avery Stringer and Kenidy West were bug at the net and slowed down the Kal hitters when needed.
“In both sets, Kal’s powers hit and passed really well, which led to us having to make some defensive adjustments to slow them down,” said Bertram.
VSS will be the North No. 1 seed at the Okanagan Valley championships Nov. 18 and 19 in Kamloops. Kal and Seaton will play a challenge game this week to see who will be North No. 2.
The top four teams from the Valleys advance to the B.C. championships in Surrey.