A stellar display of both teamwork and individual skills last weekend in Vancouver has lifted the Kelowna Owls up to the No. 1 ranking in B.C. AAAA high school girls volleyball.
For the second time in three years, KSS won the gold medal at the UBC Invitational, a tournament featuring 48 of the province’s top teams.
The Owls, ranked third heading into the tourney, capped off an unbeaten weekend with a victory over Victoria’s Lambrick Park in Saturday’s championship final.
Middle blocker Amanda Hait was dominant in the final on both sides of the net with big blocks and thunderous attacks as the Owls took down their opponents in straight sets, 25-23 and 25-15.
KSS Captain Kaitlyn Given led all players in the match with kills and passing percentage. Given and Hait were both named to the tournament’s all-star team.
In the semi-finals, KSS defeated No. 4 McMath in two decisive sets. Hait and power hitter Given lead all players with kills and blocks, while setter Cayte Wilson quarterbacked the Owls offense to a very smooth victory. KSS standouts also included middle McCall Capozzi, power hitters Hillary Schell and Kaitlyn Valgardson, along with rightside hitter Tori Taneda. The Owls received excellent passing and defense from liberos Mackenzie Reynolds and Breanne Enright, who both controlled the offensive attack and defensive resistance all match long.
Throughout the preliminary rounds on Friday and Saturday, KSS went undefeated while using 15 different line-ups.
The Owls’ standouts included key performances from Grade 11s Gabbi Down (setter), Megan Peleshetyck (middle), Natasha Balske (middle) and Tori Taneda (rightside).