The Pen High Lakers earned bronze in the senior boys Okanagan Valley volleyball Championship over the weekend in Mount Boucherie.
The Lakers defeated the Okanagan Mission Huskies in four sets (25-21, 25-23, 24-26, 25-22). Lakers coach Bo Boxall said Dan Everton and Nathan Konno were great ball distributors, while Keaton Woods and David Paisley connected on timely hits. In the final set leading 17-5, Boxall said they struggled to get out of a few service rotations.
“We managed to win the set to clinch the match. The last thing you want to do is go to a fifth set against a team that’s picked up all of the momentum,” said Boxall.
In the semifinal, the Lakers lost to the Mount Boucherie Bears in three sets (28-26, 25-15, 25-22). Nic Everton led with 14 kills. Boxall said in that match they couldn’t get a good start in each set. In the third set they fell behind 11-1 before finally starting to pass and put the ball away.
“Fighting back to 25-22 was a good moral victory, but we felt this was a winnable match for us so ultimately we were very disappointed,” said Boxall.
In finishing third, the Lakers advance to provincials Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at the Langley Event Center. The Lakers go in as the 16th of 20 seeds.
“Our goal all season has been to finish top eight. We will have to win the one-on-one battles and pass consistently, but we’ve shown all year that we can hang with the best teams in the province,” said Boxall. “Now is the time to beat them.”
The Lakers advanced to the semifinals by defeating the Vernon Panthers last week in four sets.
After defeating the Bears in four sets in the semifinal, the Lakers lost to the Kelowna Secondary School Owls in five sets (25-21, 25-16, 12-25, 17-25, and 16-14) in the final.
“Tough loss but a great match,” said Lakers co-coach Rob Gunning. “The girls fought really hard but we just came up a bit short.”
Now the Lakers are faced with the task of playing in an eight-team wild card tournament in Riverside with two provincial berths up for grabs. Should the Lakers advance to provincials, they will play in North Vancouver next week.