Lakers hone skills for season opener

After going 3-0 on Friday of their host tournament, the Pen High Lakers senior boys volleyball team finished third.

Pen High Lakers Josh Kober spikes the ball past Vernon Secondary School Panthers defenders during the final game of the Lakers Senior Boys Invitational Volleyball Tournament Sunday. The hosts won the match in two games to take third spot overall. Kelowna Secondary won the championship game against Mount Boucherie.

Pen High Lakers Josh Kober spikes the ball past Vernon Secondary School Panthers defenders during the final game of the Lakers Senior Boys Invitational Volleyball Tournament Sunday. The hosts won the match in two games to take third spot overall. Kelowna Secondary won the championship game against Mount Boucherie.

After going 3-0 on Friday of their host tournament, the Pen High Lakers senior boys volleyball team finished third.

This was a result that coach Scott Harkness felt was “alright.” The Lakers lost to the Mt. Boucherie Bears in the semifinal, which then pitted them against Vernon Secondary School Panthers a second time.

“They have a good team that was able to capitalize on our many mistakes,” said Harkness of the Bears. “All we were looking for was getting some of their rust off. See where we stood with some of the other teams in the province.”

The Lakers home tournament, which wrapped up Saturday, allowed them to find some skills that they need to hone. An area Harkness aimed to focus on for two days of practice is passing. He feels their passing limited them and it was obvious against the Bears, who they meet again at Pen High this evening.

“Some of the other teams, we could get away with mistakes, but against a top-10 team like Mount Boucherie, we can’t make mistakes,” he said. “You pass the ball over and you get no offence going. It’s going to come back to you pretty hard.”

The Lakers coaches also emphasized for players to get as many touches on the ball as possible. Harkness said that not only is the first game important, but all league games are.

“That’s what’s going to dictate where you stand in the valleys and how you are going to be ranked coming into provincials,” he said, as his Lakers are currently No. 4, while Mount Boucherie earned an honourable mention.

The Lakers roster has also has been challenged by the injury to captain Ethan McCluskey is out for three weeks.

 

“It’s high stakes and it’s good because they have some expectations,” said Harkness. “Now they are Grade 12s and are expected to win. It’s good to see that they’re not going to walk through the entire province and just

stomp everybody.”