VIDEO: Lakers taking solid steps early on

The Pen High Lakers senior boys volleyball team shows early good signs, Maggie Mustangs end tournament with promise

With teammate Graedon Freeman watching

With teammate Graedon Freeman watching

The Pen High Lakers senior boys volleyball team had a great opening weekend in its Icebreaker tournament.

The Lakers won three of its six games and coach Bo Boxall said it was a good opportunity to see the speed at which the top teams in the province play.

“We did a good job of passing off the serve. It allowed us to run multiple options on our offense,” said Boxall, whose team opened with a win over city rivals Princess Margaret, Southern Okanagan Secondary School and Vernon, while losing to Kelowna Secondary School, Mt. Boucherie and George Elliot.“Our seniors, Nic Everton and Josh Gowe did a fantastic job of finishing rallies when provided the opportunity. We need to focus on our team defence. At this level, it is important that we work as a collective group to limit the oppositions opportunities.”

What the tournament revealed to Boxall about his team is that it is athletic. He said they have several players that haven’t played a lot of volleyball, but the players athleticism will help get points.

“I’m excited to see where we will be by the end of the year,” he said. “We’re going to spend the next couple weeks really focusing on positional court responsibilities. If everyone can take care of their zone effectively we will be able to keep rallies alive so that our offense can finish points off.”

Mustangs win two

The Princess Margaret Mustangs won two of six games. Mustangs coach Rich Corrie said they used the weekend as a “vehicle” to get an idea where players fit on the team.

“The athletes were given a lot of time to show where they are at early in the season, to guide the coaches as to the team’s areas of strength and weakness,” said Corrie. “We had a slow start to the weekend, losing to some of the bigger schools, but finished on Saturday with two wins and one loss against schools more our size.”

Corrie said his team played as expected. With five practices under their belt, the Mustangs still had rust to shake off. Corrie said their skill execution was a little suspect, but improved significantly Saturday. He also noticed stronger defensive play and improvements in their serving. 

In a strong AA league, Corrie would like to see his team finish top three in the valley and advance to provincials.