PHOTOS: Vernon Panthers wrap up North Zone Jr. Girls volleyball pennant

Paige Leahy of the Vernon Panthers (2) tips the ball past the block of Michal Starling (10) of the Revelstoke Avalanche during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Paige Leahy of the Vernon Panthers (2) tips the ball past the block of Michal Starling (10) of the Revelstoke Avalanche during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Avery Stringer of the Vernon Panthers (3) goes up to block a kill attempt from Avery Cochrane of the Revelstoke Avalanche during quarterfinal action at the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Kalamalka Secondary in Coldstream. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Avery Stringer of the Vernon Panthers (3) goes up to block a kill attempt from Avery Cochrane of the Revelstoke Avalanche during quarterfinal action at the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Kalamalka Secondary in Coldstream. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Graci Roest of the host Kalamalka Lakers passes the ball to her setter during the North Zone Junior Girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Graci Roest of the host Kalamalka Lakers passes the ball to her setter during the North Zone Junior Girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Blockers Avery Smith (9) and Georgia Stowards (8) of Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Hawks double team Kalamalka Lakers power hitter Addison Bishop during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Kal Secondary. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Blockers Avery Smith (9) and Georgia Stowards (8) of Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Hawks double team Kalamalka Lakers power hitter Addison Bishop during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Kal Secondary. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Seaton Sonics blockers Marley Cormier (left) and Kianna Gardner (17) team up to stop Fulton Maroons middle R. Smith during the North Zone Junior Girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Kal Secondary. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Seaton Sonics blockers Marley Cormier (left) and Kianna Gardner (17) team up to stop Fulton Maroons middle R. Smith during the North Zone Junior Girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Kal Secondary. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Sophia Huska of the Seaton Sonics (2) goes up for a kill against crosstown rivals Fulton Maroons during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary School. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Sophia Huska of the Seaton Sonics (2) goes up for a kill against crosstown rivals Fulton Maroons during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary School. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Dakota Berger of Lumby’s Charles Bloom Timberwolves (right) goes up for a kill while teammate Ella Sawatzky offers support during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Dakota Berger of Lumby’s Charles Bloom Timberwolves (right) goes up for a kill while teammate Ella Sawatzky offers support during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Ella Sawatzky of Lumby’s Charles Bloom Timberwolves (3) gets her fingers on a kill attempt from Salmon Arm’s Devan Lansdowne of the Jackson Jays during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Kal Secondary in Coldstream. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)Ella Sawatzky of Lumby’s Charles Bloom Timberwolves (3) gets her fingers on a kill attempt from Salmon Arm’s Devan Lansdowne of the Jackson Jays during the North Zone junior girls volleyball championships Thursday, Nov. 10, at Kal Secondary in Coldstream. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

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.

READ MORE: All-Vernon junior girls volleyball tourney win goes to Seaton

READ MORE: Vernon Panthers fall in Langley volleyball final


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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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High school sportsLocal SportsNorth Okanagan Regional DistrictSalmon ArmVernonVolleyball

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