The No.1- ranked A Division high school boys volleyball team in B.C. came up a game short in Abbotsford in its bid to win the B.C. Christian Secondary School senior boys championship.
Vernon Christian School Royals fell in straight sets, 25-19, 25-22, to the host Abbotsford Christian Knights.
The Royals started off in pool play Friday by defeating the Knights, ranked No. 6 in AA, 22-25, 25-20, 16-14, then losing to the No.1-ranked AA squad, MEI Eagles, 25-18, 24-26, 15-11, then rebounded to conclude the day with a win over the No. 2 AA team, the Langley Christian Lightning, 25-22, 20-25, 15-13.
Saturday’s playoffs had the Royals matched up first against the Pacific Christian Pacers of Victoria and the Royals came away with a 25-16,25-18 victory. Liam Remple had five kills and a block at middle, and added two digs from the back row.
Once again, the Royals met the Eagles and this time Vernon Christian came out determined with aggressive serving and solid blocking to seal a 25-18, 25-17 win. Right-side player Devin Hofsink led the charge with eight kills and a solo block. Outside hitters Levi VanderDeen and Ben Molitwenik each had six kills apiece, while middle player Braeden McAmmond had two kills, a solo block, and a service ace. Jacob Defeo had 18 assists to lead the offence.
Led by their hometown crowd, the Knights defeated the Royals 25-19 and 25-22 in the championship game. Libero Shaun Huizinga was solid in the back row; VanderDeen led VCS with six kills while Josh Hall chipped in with two kills.
“The Knights had a great weekend and were on fire. They had a lot of things going right and in their favor to win the championship,” said Royals coach Chris Bannick. “We didn’t play poorly, but we looked tired at times and made too many unforced errors to give away points. Credit to ACS as they played well and deserved the victory.”
Added VCS head coach Dwayne Remple: “We are having a great run and the boys should be proud. Our team played its best game of the season against MEI. Our defence took a huge leap forward as we dug up some hard-hit balls to keep the rally going and get the point. We can hold our head high.”
Liam Remple and Molitwenik were first team all-stars. The Royals continue their season at the Coyote classic this weekend in Lake Country, then host both the north zone championship on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and the valley championship Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9.
The VCS Junior Girls team tied for ninth at the Last Spike tournament in Revelstoke, while the Grade 8 boys placed fourth at the Hornets Invitational tournament in Oliver. The Sr. ‘A’ Girls finished league play by going undefeated this season and host the north zone championship match on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at VCS. The junior boys and girls are competing in the TRU Howler this weekend in Kamloops.
FULTON HOSTS SENIOR GIRLS EVENT
Fulton Maroons host an eight-team senior girls tournament Friday and Saturday, featuring three Vernon schools and teams in both the AA and AAA divisions.
Fulton is in a pool with fellow AA teams George Elliot Coyotes of Lake Country and Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton, along with AAA’s Valleyview Vikings of Kamloops.
The Maroons play Elliot at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Princess Margaret at 2 p.m. and Valleyview at 5:45 p.m.
Vernon Panthers (AAA) and Kal Lakers (AA) are in the other pool and will play each other at 5:45 p.m. Friday. Kamloops schools Sa-Hali (AAA) and Westsyde (AA) round out the pool. The Lakers, who will host the B.C. AA championships Nov. 28-30, take on Sa-hali at 11:30 a.m. and Westsyde at 2 p.m. while VSS meets Westsyde at 12:45 p.m. and Sa-Hali at 3:15 p.m.
Playoffs start at 9 a.m. Saturday. The championship game is slated for 2 p.m. Saturday.