Consistency prevented Lakers from stronger finish

Pen High Lakers senior boys volleyball coach sees good and bad moments as team places seventh in provincials

PEN HIGH Lakers Logan Mend

PEN HIGH Lakers Logan Mend

There were moments of brilliance and moments of consecutive mental errors.

That’s how Pen High Lakers senior boys volleyball coach Paul Smith summed up the play of his team during the B.C. Boys provincial volleyball championship in Kelowna.

Going into the championship that began Nov. 28, the Lakers ranked eighth, but finished seventh after defeating Elgin Park 25-16 and 33-31

Smith also talked about his young players needing to know the importance of every game.

“They are not used to the pressure,” he said.

The Lakers faced Kelowna, in what Smith said was an important game, and came out flat despite all the pressure being on the Owls, who were the host team. After losing the first game 25-15, Smith said they had chances to win the second set when it was 26-24.

“I thought we played satisfactory,” said the Lakers’ Emery Lawrence. “Parts of the tournament we definitely played better than others. Going into the quarter-finals against KSS I thought our team synergy definitely wasn’t there and we fell apart emotionally. Teamwork wasn’t there and that was our biggest downfall.”

“We had a chance to really shift momentum and we didn’t capitalize,” he said of the 29-27 loss. “Confidence was down a bit. They are a very solid team. They got silver.”

The loss to the Owls bumped the Lakers down into the consolation draw. The Lakers then lost to Eric Hamber 26-24 and 25-20 before facing Elgin Park. Smith said he didn’t feel his team played as well as they could the entire tournament. Facing Elgin Park, both teams had beaten each other during the season in tournament play.

“We came out and played really well,” said Smith. “We could not have asked for a better way to finish the tourney. They are a strong team.”

The Lakers opened the championship tournament with a pool play match against Moscrop losing 25-19 and 15-13 after winning the first set 25-19. The Lakers then lost to Delta 2-1 and defeated the Mount Boucherie Bears 2-0. The Lakers earned a spot in the final top eight as they narrowly defeated Coquitlam’s Centennial Secondary in five sets.

“We were in every match against except KSS,” said Smith. “Centennial was excellent.”

Smith was pleased with the play of Wes Van Camp who brought leadership, and said he will be hard to replace. Jordan Farmer ended up being a force in the middle and Lawrence earned honorable mention for the all-star team.

“He’s just a force at the net,” said Smith. “Very athletic. Jumps well. One game Centennial couldn’t get the ball past him. His strength is he can take big hitters out of their game. There was no hitter at the  tourney he couldn’t stop.”

“I thought I played hard during the provincials,” said Lawrence. “Being a Grade 11 player, playing against older players, it definitely give me a confidence boost against all the best senior players in the province that I can definitely hold my own.”

Smith said the players learned a lot from the experience and are determined to work. Their performance against Elgin Park, in which they never gave up, is how Smith wants them to play all the time.

Senior girls

Losses to Elgin Park 25-23 and 26-24 then Handsworth 25-20 and 25-23 eliminated any chance of the Lakers advancing to the provincial championship from the wild card pool. Lakers coach Robert Gunning said his players performed hard and never gave up.

“We got behind in most sets and came back to make them close,” he said. “We just couldn’t find any real momentum and we struggled to finish in the end. It was a tough weekend but we are proud of the way the girls competed.”

Gunning said not advancing to provincials was a tough way for Grade 12s Janna Clarke, Steffi Caron and Sara Berthelsen to finish their high school careers.

“They showed good leadership and lots of positive energy all weekend so they can certainly hold their heads high,” said Gunning.

With several Grade 11s Hayden Craig, Kaylie Loewen, Abi McCluskey, Annaka Ramsay, Georgia Hurry, Mikala Vujcich and Jo Gunning. Gunning hopes next year will be a solid one.



Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read