Vernon Panthers claim Okanagan crown

Vernon Panthers will represent the Okanagan Valley at the B.C. Senior AAA Girls Volleyball Championships, Nov. 26-29, in Parksville.

  • Nov. 19, 2014 12:00 p.m.

The Vernon Panthers will represent the Okanagan Valley at the B.C. Senior AAA Girls Volleyball Championships, Nov. 26-29, in Parksville.

Keith Becker’s Cats, who have been ranked in the top-five all season, swept the South Kamloops Titans 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-23) in Saturday’s final of the Valley playdowns in Kelowna.

Clutch blocking and hitting from middles Courtney Becker and Katie MacGillivray and serving from Jessica Melvin played key roles in a lightning-fast third set. Precise passing from libero Kendra Cooper also boosted VSS.

Outside hitter and co-captain Stephanie Mintz took MVP for the Panthers.

“Stephanie had a very solid weekend with great serving and hitting which set the tone for the team in preparation for provincials,” said Becker. “I would like to recognize each one of the girls for their dedication to the team and good work ethic on and off the court. This truly is a benefit to the season, and will make the trip to Parksville very exciting.”

The Panthers claimed their fourth tournament of the season by winning their pool, opening with a 2-0 (25-9, 25-12) win over the NorKam Saints.

Ashley Condie provided marvellous setting and libero Megan Reeves supplied bold digs and passes in the first set.

In Round 2, VSS stopped the Sa-Hali Sabres of Kamloops 2-0 (25-22, 25-23) with powerful hitting from right side McKenzie Kreeft and middle Jordon Korol.

The Panthers then dispatched the Titans 25-16, 25-19, with stellar hitting from Anna Rice and Kristy Fugel and sweet setting from Tanner Lorenson.

VSS then outlasted the host Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna 2-1, taking the final set of the semifinals 15-9.

Maroons top Senior AA boys field

The No. 2 Fulton Maroons defeated the Princess Margaret Mustangs of Penticton 3-2 (11-25, 27-25, 25-21, 22-25, 15-13) in Saturday’s final of the Valley Senior AA boys championships at George Elliot in Lake Country.

The Maroons move to the provincials, starting Nov. 26 in Langley.

Fulton iced the Seaton Sonics 3-1 (25-16, 25-17, 23-25, 25-20) in the semifinals.

The Maroons sputtered in the quarters, erasing an early nine-point deficit to the Revelstoke Avalanche for a 3-0 win. Fulton also spotted Seaton a 15-3 lead before taking one set.

“Our play was inconsistent throughout the weekend, but the boys showed great composure in finding a way to gain back control of the matches,” said Fulton head coach Richard Bedard. “The passing wasn’t up to our usual standard, so setter Bryn Bedard was really solid for us in keeping the offence varied.

“Middle Karanmeet Khatra was clutch in the finals for us, making key blocks and kills. Ryan Doerges and Nick Prystupa dug a lot of balls and the transition was pretty good. Losing the first game 25-11 did not deter them at all. They turned it around and led the rest of the games, even though the scores do not tell that story. It was a great final considering our uneven play. Still lots of room for improvement.”


Lakers bow to Maggie in final

Princess Margaret iced the Kalamalka Lakers 3-0 (25-13, 25-19,25-23) in the finals of the Valley Senior AA girls playdowns Saturday at Fulton.

The Mustangs advance to the provincials, starting Nov. 26 at Brentwood College in Victoria. Kal will play in a wildcard tournament this Saturday at MEI in Abbotsford with one B.C. berth on the line.

Princess Margaret grounded Fulton 2-1 (20-25, 27-25, 15-11), while Kal downed the Westsyde Whundas of Kamloops 2-0 (25-14, 25-18) in the semifinals.

Westsyde brushed off Fulton 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-22) in the consolation final, while Revelstoke toppled the Pleasant Valley Saints of Armstrong 2-1 (25-15, 23-25, 15-7) for seventh place.

“My team put everything on the line in the semifinal match versus the No. 6 Mustangs,” said Fulton coach Sharon Shaigec. “Maggie was bigger than us and has a provincial team power hitter who destroys the ball, but we executed our game-plan perfectly, left everything on the floor and unfortunately couldn’t close the game in the third.”

Royals bank Valley bronze

The Vernon Christian Royals bagged bronze at the Valley Senior A Girls finals Saturday in Clearwater.

The Royals finished pool play Saturday morning with a three-set loss to the top-ranked Immaculata Mustangs of Kelowna.

“Taking a set off of Immaculata was the highlight of the tournament for the girls,” said Royals’ coach Jason Reedyk.

The quarterfinals featured a rematch of the North Zone finals with the Royals turning back the Eagle River Talons of Sicamous 2-1 (16-25, 25-14, 15-10).

Vernon then bowed 2-0 (25-23, 25-11) to the Aberdeen Hall Gryphons of Kelowna in the semifinals before sweeping the Clearwater Raiders 2-0 (25-18, 25-23) for third.

The Royals play challenge matches tonight in Kelowna for a chance at a provincial berth.