Mustangs Mania good to local teams

Mustang Mania provided the perfect opportunity for the home team to improve.

PEN HIGH LAKER Amy Woodhouse gets under a ball on Saturday versus Merritt. The Lakers finished second during the Mustang Mania senior girls tournament on the weekend. Mackenzi Haberstock

PEN HIGH LAKER Amy Woodhouse gets under a ball on Saturday versus Merritt. The Lakers finished second during the Mustang Mania senior girls tournament on the weekend. Mackenzi Haberstock

Mustang Mania provided the perfect opportunity for the home team to improve.

While the Princess Margaret Mustangs senior girls’ volleyball team finished seventh among 12 teams, coach Tim Haberstock was very pleased.

“Huge improvement in serve and receive and knowing their positions,” said Haberstock. “Their level of compete has jumped up a lot, too. We’re only four or five games into the season, but already huge changes from last Wednesday.”

The Mustangs defeated Kamloops’ Valleyview Secondary for the seventh position. Prior to their final match, the Mustangs faced Burnaby’s St. Thomas More, currently ranked fourth in the AA standings.

“We were with them point for point, a few unforced errors in the third game is probably the difference,” said Haberstock. “We didn’t make them return the ball.”

Now the Mustangs need to work on eliminating unforced errors. However, Haberstock feels his players have gained momentum, especially establishing the starting six. The challenge is getting the bench players where his starters are.

Against Valleyview, the Mustangs sent a clear message: they are playing an attacking style this season.

“It’s been a very successful tournament. Competition has been great,” said Haberstock, who also commended the officials on their work.

The Lakers, coached by Robert Gunning, finished second, losing to Kelowna Christian School in the gold medal game. Gunning, whose team maintained its No. 6 ranking in the AAAA standings, said his team played well. They scrambled and worked hard. He was also pleased with their passing and attack.

“We do need to improve our serving, and shore up our defence a little in spots,” he said. “It was a good start to the season, and a chance for our Grade 11 players to get a feel for what to expect.”

Gunning said they had a good match against St. Thomas More, who they defeated, and a strong match against KCS. The Lakers coach said it would have been nice to beat KCS in the final, but the players lacked a little fire and killer instinct.  “That will need to improve as the season moves ahead,” he said. “We will play some tough teams this weekend down at Trinity Western, so we will need to step up our game a bit.”

Among the players who shined for the Lakers were Kaylie Loewen with 63 kills and 16 aces, Annaka Ramsay who had 25 kills, and Georgia Hurry, who added 21 kills and nine aces.

Mikala Vujcich led the team in digs, while Jo Gunning led the team in passing.  Hurry had 11 blocks to lead the way while newcomers Elena Greig and Ciska Bakkeren added six and five, respectively.

St. Thomas More, Vernon Secondary, Merritt, Fulton, Valleyview, Revelstoke, Rutland and Summerland finished third through 12.