Tenth overall out of 80 teams. Second in their division.
Not bad for the Vernon Sky Black U16 boys volleyball team, the fourth seeds from B.C., at the Volleyball Canada National Championships at Toronto’s Enercare Centre.
The first day of play was preliminary round action. Sky played Storm Lightning of Aurora (Ontario #2) and lost 25-22, 25-20. They also played WinMan Clutch of Winnipeg (MB #3) and lost a tight match in 3 25-23, 23-25, 17-19. They gained an advantage when they played the Huskies of Saskatoon (SK #3) and won 28-26, 25-16. This put them in a three-way tie for second, and they came out in second.
The top two teams advanced to the Tier 1-2 Power Pool the next day, which was the top 16 teams of the 32-team division.
The second day of play was much tougher in the Power Pool. They played eventually champion Canuck Red of Calgary (AB #2) and lost 25-20, 25-16. They then beat Leaside Thunder of Toronto (ON #6) 12-25, 25-21, 15-12. Unfortunately, after losing 25-16, 25-19 to Samurai of South Shore, Quebec (QC #4), they were again in a three-way tie for second, but the results this time left them fourth in their pool.
On the third playoff day, Vernon met up with the Griffons de l’Outaouais of Gatineau, Que. (QC #1) and won 25-20, 25-18. This put them into a semifinal against FVVC of Abbotsford (BC #5).
“We have never played Fraser Valley in the three years that we have had this team. It is actually quite strange that it hadn’t happened before now. But the boys were pumped to beat them and claim the top team from BC at the nationals, and they did just that,” said Sky coach Richard Bedard.
“We weren’t happy with our fourth at provincials, but the way it turned out at nationals, we came 10th, FVVC tied for 11th, and then the three medalists ended up tied for 21st, 25th and tied for 29th. So we felt validated and were pretty happy about getting to the final, “ said co-coach Karen Bedard.
Sky Black lost the gold-medal match to Pakmen Gold (ON #4) of Mississauga 25-16, 25-18.
The Sky Black team members are Jake Bartels, Ronan Bedard, Jacob Defeo, Josh Hall, Taylor Hoekstra, Tyden Louis, Thomas Pain, Carter Scott, Jos Telsemeyer, Levi Vanderdeen, Carter Vanderleest and Cody Wessels.