AJ Taylor of the Pleasant Valley Saints tries to drive the ball past the Kelowna Christian Knights Saturday at the Vernon Christian Royals Senior Boys Invitational Volleyball Tournament.

AJ Taylor of the Pleasant Valley Saints tries to drive the ball past the Kelowna Christian Knights Saturday at the Vernon Christian Royals Senior Boys Invitational Volleyball Tournament.

Royals runners-up at home

The Vernon Christian School Royals placed second in their home invitational senior boys volleyball tournament.

The Vernon Christian School Royals placed second in their home invitational senior boys volleyball tournament, falling 2-0 (25-18, 25-19) to the No. 2-ranked Kelowna Christian School Knights in Saturday’s final.

The well-rested Knights put in a tenacious effort, making the Royals work hard for any earned points. Setter Aaron Spence provided the Royals with a balanced attack all weekend and served up four aces. Royals’ co-captain Sam Koch was selected as a tournament all-star. Setter Chad Loewen of Kelowna Christian rated tournament MVP.

Chris Bannick’s Royals opened the five-team event by stopping the Pleasant Valley Saints 2-0 (25-18, 25-20) and then falling in three sets to the No. 3-ranked Cedars Christian Eagles of Prince George.

The Royals bounced back by defeating the Clearwater Raiders 2-0 (25-20, 25-14). Jordan Vandermeulen led the middle attack in the match with five kills and three solo blocks. Reuben Smid and Micah Cardinal also played well in the match.

The Royals finished the round-robin by surprising Kelowna Christian 2-1 (13-25, 25-14, 15-7).

“Middles Adam Ensing and Vandermeulen had solid games up front while Adam McCaffrey delivered solid passing on serve receive,” said Bannick.

Vernon Christian met the Eagles again in the semifinals later Saturday and played a much stronger defensive game, with Koch leading the way with several key blocks and kills in the thrilling three-set victory, (23-25, 31-29, 15-7).

“Libero Luke Wolgram and McCaffrey kept many rallies alive with several key digs, while outside hitter Travis Hoogland led the offence with 10 kills from the left side in the match,” said Bannick.

Kelowna Christian grounded PVSS 2-0 (25-21, 25-17) in the other semifinal.

The Royals are in Abbotsford this weekend for their final tournament and then play in the Valley Senior A Boys Championships, Nov. 18-19, at their own gym.

The Fulton Senior Girls Invitational starts Friday with the Maroons facing the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops in their 2:15 p.m. opener.

The VSS Panthers and Kal Lakers are among the eight teams entered.