KOHL LINDER

Mustangs spike valleys

Mustangs boys finish second in AA Okanagan Valley, girls take third.

A veteran Okanagan Mission Secondary Huskies volleyball lineup was too much to handle for the Princess Margaret Mustangs.

Playing for the AA Okanagan Valley senior boys championship in Vernon, hosted by Fulton Secondary, the Mustangs finished second.

Mustangs coach Bo Boxall said his senior boys team didn’t perform as well as they would have liked. They started slow, then lost a tight second set, 26-24.

“In the third set you could tell the number of games over the weekend began to wear on the team,” said Boxall. “OKM is full of Grade 12s. They have played in more big games at this level than us. Their composure and ability to keep rallies going when they break down was very apparent.”

Boxall said as they pushed into tougher matches, his team needed to continue focusing on the basics.  He felt his team did a great job adjusting to what the other team was doing, especially considering teams at this level typically have one to two guys that can finish rallies.

“We managed to stop those players pretty consistently, which really took our opposition off of their game plan,” he said. “On our side of the net, we hit well and got some great passing out of our back row. Cody Poitras was huge for us and made some big digs at crucial times.

“The entire Valley Championship was a great test for our guys,” he continued. “We definitely had to overcome some adversity after starting off slowly in the semifinals and finals. We managed to dig deep and find a way to win the semis.”

Boxall added the South Okanagan Secondary School Hornets had a respectable showing. During round-robin play, they upset the ninth-ranked Fulton.

Mustangs senior girls

After losing to the Sa-Hali Sabres 17-25, 25-17 and 12-15, the Mustangs faced Westsyde Secondary Whundas for third place. Mustangs coach Tim Haberstock said his team easily beat the Whundas to advance to the wildcard tournament in Vancouver. It’s their last chance to qualify for provincials. The Mustangs will compete in a round robin format against schools from Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. Haberstock said those teams are all decent, but not as strong as Kalamalka and Sa-Hali.

“I like our chances if we play like we did on the weekend,” said Haberstock. “We had several girls really stand out for different reasons.  Jaquelyne Ford had a great weekend setting and serving, Riley McKinlay for hitting and blocking, Megan Blaire led in kills and Taylor Corrie was outstanding defensively.

Junior girls

The Mustangs junior girls team won their Okanagan Valley championship and have advanced to provincials in South Delta. The Mustangs went undefeated in the Okanagan Valley championship defeating Kelowna Secondary in the semifinal. They faced Vernon Secondary in the final and captured the championship in a three-set match to cap a season with 40 wins and four losses.

They opened the provincial championship in South Delta, which began Thursday, losing to Langley Christian 11-25, 25-22 and 4-15. They also lost to South Delta 21-25, 25-21 and 4-15. Placing third in the D pool, the Mustangs play the second-place team in the B pool in game one of the playoffs.