Aiming high in provincials

Despite their No.16 ranking, the Pen High Lakers they can finish higher in the AAA senior boys volleyball provincials

Pen High Lakers

Pen High Lakers

The Pen High Lakers have been practising hard in preparation for the AAA provincial senior boys volleyball championship in Langley Nov. 26 to 29.

Lakers coach Rob Gunning worked with his players Monday for the final time.

“We are really just trying to keep our energy level up, and play aggressive  on offence,” said Gunning.

“We know we can pass well and play good defence. We just need to score consistently.”

The Lakers are ranked 16th in the province, but Gunning said the group feels confident about a top-10 finish, they just have play well to prove it.

“We feel that we can compete with most of the teams at the tournament, we just need to play at the highest level possible,” said Gunning.

“KSS (Kelowna Secondary Owls) is a very solid No. 1 seed, and Earl Marriott is close behind them. I think the teams below those two will have trouble moving into the top two.”

The Lakers coach added it is one of those years where a lot of different things could happen, depending on how the teams play. Even though they have a challenge ahead of them, the Lakers look forward to it as they strive for a high finish.

“We need everybody to step up, but our grade 12’s will have to lead us for sure,” he said.

“We have a mix of Grade 11s and 12s and they will all have to play well for us to be successful.  For our 11s, this experience will definitely pay dividends next year.”

Junior boys

The Lakers finished last in their pool of four after going winless in three games. They lost to Delta 25-13 and 25-20, then to Kelowna by identical scores of 25-14 and to Duchess Park 26-24 and 25-19.

In the playoff draw, the Lakers were matched up with College Heights 2 and defeated them 26-24 and 25-22, then bowed to Langley Christian 25-13 and 25-14.

Losing that match pitted them against Vernon’s Claren Fulton Maroons. The Lakers lost to the Maroons in three (25-21 and 15-10) after taking the first one 26-24. The Lakers then faced the Princess Margaret Mustangs.

After winning the first set 25-19, they lost 25-21 and 15-5.

Their final game of the championship had them facing Saint Ann’s for 15th place and the Lakers won 25-22 and 25-16.