It wasn’t the ideal conclusion to the 2012 volleyball season for the Kelowna Owls.
Still, a silver medal at the B.C. high school boys AAA championship was no small feat for the host KSS squad.
Mike Sodaro’s Owls fell just one step short on Saturday night, losing the gold medal match to defending champion Oak Bay from Victoria 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-22).
It was the best result for a KSS boys team since back-to-back second-place showings in 1991 and 1992.
“I talked to the boys after and let them know that they won silver, they didn’t lose gold,” an emotional Sodaro, the Owls head coach, said on Sunday morning. “We had hopes of something else, and when it doesn’t work out it’s pretty tough.
“But I think in a few days when it all soaks in, the guys will realize what a great accomplishment it was and what a great season they had. It takes time to remember that you earned it and fought for it and triumphed. The KSS boys played incredible and had a great run at the championships.”
The Owls, ranked No. 2 heading into provincials, rolled through the playoff round, taking down Ballenas in the round of 16, Penticton in the quarterfinals, and No. 1 ranked Fraser Heights in straight sets the semi-final.
In the final, Sodaro said the Owls weren’t quite able bring their ‘A’ game.
“We didn’t really have our best game, but the boys still played hard. (Oak Bay) is a strong team and they really came at us.”
The final match ended the high school careers of six Owls—Liam Birker, Ty Campbell, Tyler Pomielartz, Ryan Patterson, Dylan Draper and Brendan Bourcier.
“I really enjoyed working with those guys,” said Sodaro, who has coached many of he current Owls since Grade 8. “All of them fought hard and played great throughout the tournament.
“This is the best finish I have had as a coach and, although it is hard to accept the loss in the finals, we were beat by a great team that played exceptional,” Sodaro continued. “I am proud of
all the KSS players, parents, and community.”
Campbell, the Owls’ captain, and Devon Cote were named first team all-stars, while Birker and Pomielartz made the second team.
Huskies 4th in AA
The Okanagan Mission Huskies turned in their best ever finish at the B.C. AA boys championship talking fourth place overall.
The Huskies made it as far as Saturday’s bronze medal game in Kelowna before losing a hard-fought five set match (16-25, 25-17, 25-14, 23-25, 15-10) to the defending provincial champion MEI Eagles.
OKM, which finished first in its power pool, defeated Highland and Pacific Christian in the playoff round to advance to the third-place finale.
Isaac Smith of the Huskies was named to the first all-star team, while Dane Smit was named to the second team and Ryan Luck was an honourable mention.
The George Elliot Coyotes finished in sixth place. Scott Marshall of GES made the second all-star team, while teammate Shane Hayes gained an honourable mention.