The Vernon Christian School Royals placed fourth in the 20-team Douglas College Royal Rumble senior boys volleyball tournament in Coquitlam last weekend.
The No 1-ranked AAA Earl Marriott Mariners of Surrey stopped the Royals (A team) 2-0 (25-15, 25-16).
The Richmond Christian Eagles, who are rated sixth in the AA poll, bounced the Royals 2-0 (25-12, 25-23) in the bronze-medal match.
Vernon outside hitter Ben Molitwenik was presented an all-star award for his superb play in the tournament. Both coaches Dwayne Remple and Chris Bannick gave props to the Royals.
“Playing seven matches with only eight players, the boys simply ran out of energy by the time we reached the semis,” said Bannick. “Excellent effort from all players; everyone contributed to the success of the team.”
The Royals, who open their invitational tourney starting Friday, 3 p.m. against the Kelowna Christian Knights, won their pool by defeating Enver Creek Cougars of Surrey (2-0) 25-16, 25-18, and rolled over Alpha Falcons of Burnaby 2-0 25-14, 25-16 before prevailing in a tight match against the #8 ranked AAA Argyle Pipers of North Vancouver (2-1) 25-27, 25-21, 16-14.
Molitwenik led the attack against Argyle with eight kills while Liam Remple added seven kills in the middle. Jacob Defeo rang up 29 assists as setter, while Braeden McAmmond sealed the win with a service ace down the line.
In Saturday’s playoff action, the Royals grounded the #11 ranked AAA Elgin Park Orcas of Surrey 2-0 25-21,25-17. Outside attacker Josh Hall led Royals with 11 kills and a service ace, while libero Shaun Huizinga came up with some timely digs to frustrate the Orcas’ offence. Setter Kaden Koshman sparked the Vernon offence, while right side Levi VanderDeen served tough.
In the quarterfinals, the Royals kept rolling with a straight-set win over the Riverside Rapids of Coquitlam 25-21, 25-17.