Kelowna Secondary School Owls flew in to Pen High on Wednesday evening and left with a pair of wins.
It started with the girls battling at 5 p.m. Ranked fourth in the AAAA B.C. High School standings, the Owls defeated the ninth ranked Lakers 25-21, 25-21 and 25-12. Lakers coach Robert Gunning watched his team have a good performance in which they dug for balls and didn’t give up.
“Looking at the numbers they should beat us,” said Gunning. “We know we can play with them now. In the next month we have to start proving it to ourselves and others.”
Once his players start reeling off wins, the confidence will come. Gunning said that Kaylie Loewen played well on the right side and Hayden Craig is coming along as a setter.
“We’re lacking a little bit of experience,” said Gunning.
The evening ended with the boys squad losing 25-17, 25-18 and 25-19 to the sixth ranked Owls in AAA action. What hurt the Lakers, who received honourable mention (Oct. 8 to 15) in the provincial standings, were unforced errors. Coach Paul Smith said his players are struggling to sustain pressure throughout the game. In the first set, they trailed 16-9 and clawed back, but it was too late.
“When you’re playing good teams you can’t give them any points,” said Smith. “It’s not even hard unforced errors. All we have to do is pass the ball over the net and we put it into the middle of the tape.”
Smith said he has his players cutting back on offence and placing focus on the basics. Until they get that down, Smith said there is no need to expand their offence. Not all is bad though. Smith liked the passing, especially from Blair Anderson, who he said, “had a dynamite game passing.”
“We get the opportunity and we hit the ball out of bounds,” said Smith. “That was the frustrating part. It’s a difference of KSS has two senior setters, who basically play all year round. Logan Mend, who is our prime setter, is a Grade 11 player who just doesn’t have the experience yet. It’s that maturity.”
This weekend the Lakers will play in the Owls tournament and Smith looks forward to building during the weekend.
“We’re going to be there, I have no doubt of it,” he said. “It’s just taken a little time.”