Hoping for a fifth-place result, the Princess Margaret Mustangs senior boys volleyball team finished 11th in the AA provincial championship.
Having a young team, Mustangs coach Bo Boxall said there were moments his group needed to finish teams and they let them off the hook last week in Kelowna.
Following pool play, in which they lost all three games to teams with a similar skill level, Boxall said they came out well against the Clarence Fulton Maroons, who they opened the playoff draw against.
“We were up 24-22 in each of the first two sets, but Fulton went on late runs in both of those sets to take an early 2-0 lead,” said Boxall. “I was incredibly pleased to see our guys continue to compete.”
Boxall’s players responded by winning the next two sets 25-18, then lost their top hitter Kyle Kohlhauser who sprained his ankle during the fourth set. The Marooons took the fifth set 15-11.
“Losing one of the best hitters in the tournament really slowed us down,” said Boxall. “However, every guy on the team really picked it up. Spencer Kingzett, Brett Lavigne, Kohl Linder, Duncan Woods and Keegan Hawley … gave us some great swings at their respective positions. Having limited options at that moment, I was very impressed by Grade 10 Jacob Winstone’s ability to adapt on the fly in a position he wasn’t used to playing.”
Boxall said his group grew as a team after that loss. The Mustangs then defeated Smithers in two sets before losing to McRoberts Secondary from Richmond. Boxall said a comment made by captain Colton Van Camp summed up best how the players felt after the tournament.
“This just makes us hungrier for next year.”
“The loss was tough on all of the guys, but our lone Grade 12, Josh Ryan, probably took it the hardest,” said Boxall. “Josh did an amazing job of adapting to any situation we needed him. Josh’s attitude is something I hope all of our guys can emulate in the future.”
In a championship that provided great competition, Boxall said his group gained experience. At the start of the year, the Mustangs set a goal of finishing in the top-five. While they fell short, they are motivated to earn a medal next year.
Boxall said he and assistant coach Terry Major feel comfortable putting any player on the floor.
“Having depth will bode well for us in the year to come,” he said.
Langley Fundamental won the provincial championship as they defeated their Fraser Valley rival Langley Christian in three sets (25-21, 25-18 and 25-23).