Morning Star Staff
The eventual provincial champions ended the Vernon Christian School Royals’ medal hopes at the B.C. High School Senior A Boys volleyball Championships in Abbotsford.
The Centennial Christian Seahawks of Terrace rallied to beat the Royals 19-25, 25-19, 28-26, 25-23 in the quarterfinals of the 12-team tournament.
Outside hitter and co-captain Caleb Haberstock led the Royals in back-row digs and outstanding hitting from all areas of the court, hammering out 14 kills in 21 opportunities.
Middle Landon Matties, a second-team all-star, was a force at the net with 10 kills in 15 chances. Jacob Molitwenik provided a solid defensive presence with two solo blocks and a block assist, was six for 12 in attacks and fired three aces from the service line. Outside hitter Mitchell Kroeker played a solid defensive game and chipped in offensively with five kills in nine chances. Setter Brennan Seltzer supplied 36 assists.
“This was a close match that could have gone either way,” said Royals head coach Chris Bannick. “Our game-plan was to keep them off guard from all areas of the court as we hit from everywhere and tipped and threw in a few roll shots to mix things up. It almost worked.
“If we had a bounce go in our favor or a hit just hug the base line instead of being called out, we would have prevailed. Even with the loss, the boys held their heads high knowing they played a great match against the No. 2 ranked team in the province.”
The Royals, who finished third in pool play, dropped to the consolation side and finished the season with a match against a familiar foe, North Zone champion Revelstoke Avalanche, prevailing 25-20, 25-8.
Vernon Christian School, who won bronze a year ago, ended up seventh.
“It was a great way to end our season, especially that our bench got to play a lot,” said Bannick. “Ethan Jameson and Aaron Botterill came in and did a solid job defensively with a few offensive contributions. Back-up setter Ben Molitwenik came in many times this weekend and did an excellent job running the offence.”
Meanwhile, the Okanagan champion Seaton Sonics finished 13th at the provincial junior girls championships in Delta.
The Sonics opened the playoff round against the Langley Christian Knights, losing 25-20, 25-22.
Seaton started with strong serving from Kalli Hamilton-Gee. Dana Kievit sent a message with a cross-court kill that impressed all in attendance.
Saturday’s team fireplug award went to Maddie Roemer, the Sonics’ serving ace. Roemer sported an average of six serves per rotation.
Seaton finished with a great effort in a tough 25-22, 25-23 loss to Heritage Woods of Port Moody.
Mason Christensen played tough, setting with a strained thumb, and Gabby Triggs powered the leftside along with support from Wynter Vanderveen. Ella Oduro had several good hits from the middle. Alyssa Racine and Rose Harned played a great defensive match.
The team missed Maisa Orosz who strained her knee and could not play Saturday.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments of these fine girls, North Zone Champions, Valley Champions and 13th in provincials,” said Seaton head coach Jeff Huggins, assisted by community coach Kendra Kryzak, who the girls adored. “They have developed very well this season and are a fantastic group of girls.”
The Vernon Panthers host the 16-team B.C. AAA senior girls championships starting Thursday morning at VSS. The Panthers, ranked No. 6, open at 10:15 a.m. vs the Caledonia Kermodes of Terrace, and face the LV Rogers Bombers of Nelson (12:55 p.m.) and Hugh McRoberts Strikers of Richmond (4:55 p.m.) to close out pool play.
The championship final is Saturday at 6:15 p.m. at VSS.
The UBC Okanagan Heat will meet the Thompson Rivers University WolfPack in a university women’s exhibition match tonight at 7 at VSS.
Admission is free though fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the Vernon Food Bank.