The Vernon Sky U16 Black Boys volleyball team missed the podium by one placing at the Tier 1, Division 1 Volleyball B.C. Championships placed 4th in Tier 1, Division 1 at the Volleyball BC Provincial Championships at the Tradex in Abbotsford.
Sky was placed in a power pool based on a strong season where they placed first and fifth at the two major Super Series. On the first day, they came third in the power pool by defeating Seaside Six Pack of Surrey 28-26, 25-20, losing to the Orangemen of Abbotsford 27-25, 25-21 and lost a set to Apex Ignite of Vancouver 26-24, 25-15. Due to being in the Power Pool, they were automatically into the quarterfinals on the second day.
They defeated Kodiaks Red of Prince George 25-21, 25-14 to get them into the semifinals and a rematch against Apex Ignite once again. Although they were leading in most of the first game, a few errors and stronger play by Apex handed them a 25-23 win. The second game was also one of whoever makes the fewest errors win, and they again lost 25-23.
In the bronze match, they met up with the Orangemen. In the first game, Jake Bartels was injured and Jos Telsemeyer had to step in for him. They lost 20-25, 25-18, 15-12.
“Our goal was to finish top-three and we just missed the medals,” said co-coach Karen Bedard. “We had a lot of tight matches and as they get older, they will learn to maintain their composure and to not get down on themselves and not to doubt themselves. The mental aspect is just as important as the physical aspect in this sport. They played hard and that is what we asked of them.”
Added co-coach Richard Bedard: “Little mistakes will add up, so it is unfortunate that somebody has to win. The team should be proud of this season and we are proud that Josh Hall and Jacob Defeo were Season All Stars for this year – two of 12 in the province. We haven’t had a provincial all-star since Danny Aspenlieder played for us, so to have two is great.”
The team heads to Toronto for U16 Nationals from May 12-14. The Sky Black team members are Bartels, Ronan Bedard, Defeo, Hall, Taylor Hoekstra, Tyden Louis, Thomas Pain, Carter Scott, Telsemeyer, Levi Vanderdeen, Carter Vanderleest and Cody Wessels.