The Vernon Christian Royals have earned their fourth straight trip to the B.C. Senior A Boys Valley Championships, starting next Wednesday at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna.
The Royals, ranked fifth in B.C., turned in a silver-medal showing at the Valley championships last weekend at their home gym.
Playing in a five-team pool, they placed second in round-robin play with 2-0 victories over the Immaculata Mustangs of Kelowna (25-20, 25-21), Clearwater Raiders (25-13, 25-19) and Chase Trojans (25-12, 25-15). They fell 2-0 to the Kelowna Christian Knights (8-25, 23-25).
Setters Aaron Spence and Zac Dubland spread the ball around all night for the Royals’ offence while outside hitter Sam Koch led the Royals with strong blocking and varied attacks along the front row. Libero Luke Wolgram played solid defence.
Vernon Christian bounced the Mustangs 2-0 in a semifinals rematch Saturday afternoon, storming out of the gate early in the first set, led by strong serving from Ryan Price and balanced middle attacks from Adam Ensing and Jordan VanderMeulen. Koch provided the winner on a right side kill.
The Knights downed the Royals 3-1 in the best-of-five finals.
Trailing 2-0 in the match, and down 8-0 in the third set, the Royals clawed their way back as the front row found its groove, making several key blocks. Adam McCaffrey and Koch kept many rallies alive with back row digs, while VanderMeulen and Koch led the offence. Kelowna sealed victory in the fourth set.