Jamie Craig hasn’t been on a Pen High Lakers volleyball team that was so tight.
Players are connecting on a level she hasn’t seen and Craig said that is a big reason the Lakers didn’t lose a match during a tournament at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops over the weekend.
“The big key was being able to communicate,” said Craig, one of the leaders that coach Paul Smith will count on. “I’m looking forward to this season.”
Smith liked what he saw from his players and the results they got, but he wasn’t getting overly excited.
“The competition until playoffs was not the strongest,” he said.
This season the Lakers coach is working with 10 new players. The tournament was an opportunity to see who would fill roles, who would step up. It enabled Smith to give all his players time on the court.
“Overall I’m very pleased,” he said. “I think some people really showed a lot of potential.”
The Lakers, who won their first game of the season sweeping the Mt. Boucherie Bears, prepare to play the Rutland Voodoos today. When asked what kind of team he has, Smith laughed then said he doesn’t really know yet.
“They do some things very well,” he said. “They do some things not so well. Still growing, still learning.”
Once the Lakers start facing stronger opponents, Smith said that will help determine the character of his team.
“We didn’t play any of the top five teams,” he said. “That’s going to determine how good we are.”
After finishing second in a competitive pool with a 3-1 record, the Pen High Lakers senior boys volleyball team placed 13th in the 40-team tournament. The Lakers found themselves matched up with Langley Christian (ranked No. 1 in AA) but lost. The Lakers lost their third game of the day against Crescent Heights from Alberta.
“They would have liked to finish higher but they played some high-calibre teams and are beginning to play better,” said Lakers coach Scott Harkness, whose team plays in Rutland tonight.