Volleyball tournament attracts top teams

Princess Margaret hosting top clubs for tournament this weekend in Penticton

PENTICTON LAKERS power striker Annaka Ramsay drives this spike past South Kamloops Titans blockers Mieke DuMont (left) and Riley Oien during senior girls high school volleyball action Wednesday at Penticton Secondary School. The visitors won the best-of-five match 3-2. The Lakers will play in the Mustang Mania tournament that begins today.

PENTICTON LAKERS power striker Annaka Ramsay drives this spike past South Kamloops Titans blockers Mieke DuMont (left) and Riley Oien during senior girls high school volleyball action Wednesday at Penticton Secondary School. The visitors won the best-of-five match 3-2. The Lakers will play in the Mustang Mania tournament that begins today.

Building familiarity is what the Princess Margaret senior girls’ volleyball team will start during their Mustang Mania tournament today.

“Mostly we want to sort out our rotations, establish our positions and work out any glitches with our serve receive,” said Mustangs coach Tim Haberstock. “Being a home tournament, it’s important for everyone to play as much as possible as well.”

The Mustangs open the tournament, which starts today, with a game against Merritt at Skaha Lake Middle School at 2 p.m. At 3 p.m. they face Rutland also at SLMS. At 5 p.m. at Princess Margaret, they face Vernon Secondary.

Haberstock said they have a very strong line up of teams that includes Kelowna Christian (ranked second in A), Fulton Secondary, St. Thomas Moore (Burnaby), Valley View (Kamloops), Revelstoke, George Elliott.

“Because we invite such strong teams, we don’t expect to win this tournament,” said Haberstock, adding they want to challenge themselves to see where their level of competition is. “I would be happy to finish in the top half of this 12-team tournament.”

It’s also a big year for the Mustangs as the south zone is hosting the AA valley championship.

It’s the Mustangs’ goal to win their zone so they can host and utilize home court advantage to compete for one of the 2.5 berths to the provincial championships.

Also competing in the tournament will be Summerland and Pen High. Lakers coach Rob Gunning sees this as another chance for his team to get comfortable.

“You can practice all you want but it’s not like being in games,” said Gunning. “They get game-like situations, game swings. Get a chance to look at all of our players. Younger kids get in and that’s a positive.”

The Lakers’ first game is at 2 p.m. against Revelstoke at Princess Margaret. Their second game is 4 p.m. against George Elliot at SLMS, then 5 p.m. against Valleyview at SLMS.

Mustang Mania will also feature a university match between Trinity Western and the University of Alberta. Warm-up begins at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7 p.m. Students and kids are free, adults are $2.

Playoff action for the tournament is Saturday starting at 9 a.m. All games are a best two of three. During round robin, courts can play ahead of schedule if previous matches end quickly.

The Mustangs opened their season in Kelowna and lost in straight sets to Immaculata and Kelowna Christian, the No.1 and 2 ranked teams in A division as of Sept. 17.