The seventh-ranked Princess Margaret Mustangs senior boys volleyball team is looking to shock teams during the AA provincial championship in Kelowna this week.
Mustang Josh Ryan said the group feels good about their chances against other top teams in the province.
“I know we’re a young team, and everyone else is Grade 12, but we’re coming as underdogs so we’re excited,” said Ryan. “We’re happy to play.”
Last Friday, the Mustangs got a good test when they faced city rivals Pen High Lakers in the Burger 55 City Championship. The Lakers won in three sets. The Mustangs will use that experience to help them have success in Kelowna. While Mustangs coach Bo Boxall said there are some talented teams in the provincial championship, it doesn’t take away what they feel they can accomplish.
“We’re kind of hoping to sneak in there and upset one or two of them as we get going,” said Boxall. “If we play well, we should have a shot at doing that. We should be able to compete. We’re young, we’re athletic, we’re learning the game a lot. In every match they play, they improve.”
The Mustangs focus will be on passing and serving consistently.
“If we’re giving up too many free points on the serve, we fall behind,” said Boxall. “The other problem is if we’re not passing consistently, then we don’t give Colton Van Camp, our setter, very many options of different plays we can run. It really allows the opposite team to just set blocks out at power or at right side. That doesn’t bode well at this level.”
Boxall believes a top-three finish is possible.
“We’re very confident,” said Ryan. “We know we have nothing to lose.”
After finishing third in the Okanagan Valley, the Mustangs senior girls competed in the wild card tournament for one last chance to advance to provincials, but were unsuccessful.
The Mustangs junior girls team took the Okanagan Valley championship Nov. 16 with a perfect record. The Mustangs defeated Kelowna Secondary in the semifinal then downed Vernon Secondary in three sets for the championship.
The Mustangs opened the provincial championship in South Delta last Thursday losing to Langley Christian 11-25, 25-22 and 4-15. They also lost to South Delta 21-25, 25-21 and 4-15. Placing third in the D pool, the Mustangs finished 18th in the consolation group.
The championship caps a season in which the Mustangs won 40 games and lost just four times. Twenty-four teams competed in the championship won by Pacific Academy over Riverside. Vernon finished eighth.