Lakers unable to perform at provincials as hoped

Lakers senior boys volleyball team hurt by errors in provincial championship

BRAYDEN WHEELER of the Pen High Lakers senior boys volleyball team prepares to clear the ball out of danger during the AAA Big Kahuna B.C. High School Boys Championship in Langley.

Finishing 18th at the AAA Big Kahuna BC High School Boys Championships in Langley isn’t what the Pen High Lakers senior volleyball team had in mind.

The Lakers were knocked out of contention for a higher finish after bowing to David Thompson. They lost the opening two sets 25-23, 25-15 then took the third 25-21 before losing the fourth set 25-16.

In their next match the Lakers defeated North Peace then ended its season with a loss to Belmont.

“Overall, it was a little disappointing.  The first day was tough,” said Lakers coach Rob Gunning. “We had a difficult drive down on Tuesday and did not get into the hotel until after midnight.”

All three matches on Wednesday were close, said Gunning.

They opened pool play with a three set ( 21-25, 25-21 and 15-10) victory against Centennial, who went on to finish 11th. They opened against Belmont with a 25-20 win then lost 25-20 and 16-14. In that match Gunning said they just couldn’t close out. They also lost to Seaquam in three sets after taking the first one 25-22. They lost the second set 25-23 and 15-9 and finished fourth in their pool.

“Just a few too many errors in key situations,” he said. “Overall, we continued to play good defence.  Our passing and serving were okay, but did let us down at times. We did have trouble finishing, as has been a problem all year. You just need key kills late in matches and we lacked that at times.”

Gunning added that his players were a little disappointed, but enjoyed the experience.

“Our goal was to get to the provincials, and we did get there.,” said Gunning, who pointed out that their win against Centennial showed how close the bottom 10 teams were. “Hopefully, our Grade 11’s can take this experience and improve on our results next year.”