After flooding and highway closures threatened to cancel the junior girls volleyball provincial championships, Vernon Secondary School stepped in to host the Interior portion of the tournament.
The Vernon Panthers finished in fifth place out of the eight teams that played in the Interior provincials over the weekend. The last-minute tournament featured six teams from the Okanagan and the top two teams from the North zone.
The Panthers came into the tournament having placed fourth in the Valley Championships, one spot behind rival Seaton Secondary.
At the Interior tournament, the Panthers finished second in their pool, beating Prince George’s Duchess Park and South Kamloops, both in two sets. The Panthers lost to Kelowna Secondary School before running into a hot team in Lake Country’s George Elliot Coyotes, who beat them in two sets.
“They didn’t make any mistakes and put us on the defensive for the whole match,” said VSS coach Mike Bertram.
The Panthers then defeated Duchess Park for a second time, and beat Shas Ti Kelly Road of Prince George in their final game to finish fifth, two spots ahead of Seaton.
“The girls played really well all weekend and it was a great way to finish the year. All the girls contributed and stepped up when they were on the floor,” said Bertram.
Seaton also finished second in their pool but lost to the eventual champions, West Kelowna’s Mount Boucherie Secondary School, in three sets. They then dropped games to South Kamloops and Shas Ti Kelly Road before beating Duchess Park in two sets to finish seventh overall.