Jaida Smith in the middle position with the Pen High Lakers prepares to spike the ball during Wednesday’s senior girls volleyball match against the Rutland Voodoo at Pen High. The Lakers won in three sets. Mark Brett/Western News

Lakers spike past Voodoo

The Pen High Lakers defeated the Rutland Voodoo in senior girls volleyball

The Pen High Lakers senior girls volleyball team are now 1-1 in the 3A Okanagan Valley.

The Lakers swept the Rutland Voodoo in three games Wednesday evening at home, 25-17, 25-15 and 25-11.

“I think we played well. It took us a while to get going and getting the rally going,” said Laker Britney Young. “I think we had a bunch of people playing different positions so I think we did well and we coped well with everything.”

In the final set the Lakers rested a few starters.

“It was a match where we got to see some players in different positions,” said Lakers co-coach Rob Gunning. “Everyone responded well, so that was very positive.”

Chloe Brydon led the Lakers attack with nine kills, while Young had five. Brydon also had four aces and Jayden Schneider had three.

Young said they know everyone can play, adding that some players are developing slower than others, yet she thought it was good to see younger players get more opportunity.

“Take on a role of leadership,” she said. “It was really fun. It just takes us a while to get going.”

This season the Lakers will host the Okanagan Valley championship on Nov. 18 and Gunning said their goal is to peak at the right time, while focusing on fundamentals. Gunning is confident that if they serve and pass well, they can compete with all the valley teams.

“We are not a big team, so we will go as far as our serving, passing and defence will take us,” he said.

The Lakers will also lean on Grade 12s, such as Brydon, their offensive weapon, with Young chipping in and also supplying great defence. The Lakers know though that they need a complete team effort to compete in a very tough division. Their setter is Kali Loewen, a Grade 11 student. Schneider plays well in the middle and provides excellent serving.

“As always, it takes a while for the first year players to catch up with the speed of the game,” said Gunning.

The Lakers remaining home games are as follows:

Oct. 18 KSS at Pen High, Oct. 27-28 home tournament, Nov. 18 Valley Championships at Pen High.

Provincial championships are Nov. 30 – Dec. 2 at the Langley Event Centre.

Grade 10 Sophie Brydon is gaining valuable experience practicing with the seniors and being part of the team. She is the Lakers back up setter and provide a big block on the right side. Playing on the junior team, she will help the seniors whenever needed.

Senior boys defeat Gold

The Lakers senior boys volleyball team defeated the Salmon Arm Gold, 25-15, 25-16 and 25-19.

Coach Anita Toneatto said in practice they have been running a few different plays and facing the Gold enabled them to see what they could do in a game.

“Our defence is improving which will allow us to move the ball around a lot more on offense,” she said.

The Lakers are looking to be more successful from the middle position. They want to customize sets and plays to get their middles more success in their attacks.