VSS Panthers’ junior A girls volleyball team made it to the final of a tournament in Langley Sept. 24-25. (Vernon Secondary Panthers photo)

VSS Panthers’ junior A girls volleyball team made it to the final of a tournament in Langley Sept. 24-25. (Vernon Secondary Panthers photo)

Vernon Panthers fall in Langley volleyball final

Junior A girls team went undefeated until last game against Langley Christian Lightning

They were the only team from outside the Lower Mainland to participate.

And the Vernon Secondary Panthers junior girls A volleyball team left a pretty good impression in Langley.

The Panthers made it to the final of a tournament at Trinity Western University, falling 15-13 in the deciding game to the Langley Christian Lightning.

“Any time you can go to the coast and beat some of the top programs, it gives the girls confidence and helps them grow,” said VSS coach Mike Bertram.

The Panthers, who finished third with a 5-1 record at their home tournament the weekend prior, finished first in their preliminary round pool in Langley, going undefeated.

Vernon knocked off the Walnut Grove Gators of Langley in three sets in the quarterfinals (16-14 in the deciding game), then advanced to the final with a straight sets win over the Holy Cross Crusaders of Surrey.

“The girls played great volleyball all weekend,” said Bertram. “They’ve shown they are going to be one of the top teams in the Okanagan this year.”

Bertram said Devyn Hildebrand was unstoppable hitting out of the power position and earned a tournament all star, as did setter Kaydence Kitzul who ran a varied offence to keep the blockers guessing.

Sadie Quinton and Kenidy West passed great and hit well out of the right side. Paige Leahy took her game to another level at middle consistently getting kills. Avery Stringer and Peyton Romeril were also strong out of the middle with good net play.

Charlotte Schommer was one of the Panthers’ most consistent passers all weekend and came up with some clutch kills. Amelia Spitzer passed with precision, as the libero, which allowed VSS to run its offence.

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