The valley champion OKM Huskies: Kjel Cartier, Ian Dunlop,Jon Barton, Alex Gross, Spencer Ursel, Soleil Pitcher, (top) coach Paul Thiessen, Naved Wasti, Clarke Larson, Kevin Jacklin, Zeb Pink, Kyle Butterworth and Peter Butterworth assistant coach.

Huskies grab valley title in thriller over Bears

OKM defeats Boucherie in five-setter in Okanagan AAA final, both teams head to provincials

The Okanagan Mission Huskies picked an opportune time to be playing their best volleyball of the season.

Paul Thiessen’s squad pushed its winning streak against AAA opponents to eight games Saturday, edging the Mt. Boucherie Bears in dramatic fashion in the Okanagan Valley final.

The championship match at Rutland Senior Secondary went the distance, with OKM prevailing 16-14 in a nail-biting fifth set.

It’s just the second season the Huskies have been competing at the AAA level.

Alex Gross led the way for the valley champs with 10 kills, one block and one ace.

OKM’s Kyle Butterworth had nine kills, two blocks and two aces and was clutch for us in the home stretch with four kills in the final set,” according to coach Thiessen.

Ian Dunlop was the Huskies’ top server and defender, making all his serves, including several runs of three or more in a row to give OKM momentum.

Jon Barton ran a solid offense with a balanced attack, and added four kills and two blocks.

For Mt. Boucherie, Grade 12 setter Harrison Larson and Grade 12 left side Joel Semeniuk “both played extremely well,” said Bears coach John McParland.

Grade 11 players Luke Hanson and Cam Powell were also factors in the match for the Bears.

The Huskies will be seeded fifth for the B.C. AAA boys volleyball championship Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 in Langley, while the Bears are sixth.

Owls win bronze…

With five Grade 10 players on their roster—including four starters—youth is the operative word for the KSS Owls.

Mike Sodaro’s team overcame both inexperience and a two-game deficit to win the bronze medal at the Okanagan AAA valley finals.

The Owls defeated Pen Hi 3-2, taking the last three sets 25-23, 25-22, 15-11, to lock down a spot at provincials.

“We are very young and are learning how hard we have to battle to beat more experienced teams,” said Sodaro, the Owls’ coach. “They have improved and impressed all year.”

The Owls will be seeded 10th and the Lakers 15th for the 20-team B.C. boys AAA volleyball championship, Nov. 29 to Dec. 2 at the Langley Events Centre.

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Alex Gross pounds down one of his team-high 10 kills for the OKM Huskies against Cam Powell (left) and the Mt. Boucherie Bears in the Okanagan Valley senior AAA boys volleyball final Saturday at Rutland Secondary. -Image: Douglas Farrow/Contributor

KSS Owls’ teammates Jackson Obst and Liam Birnie set up for the block -Image: Douglas Farrow/Capital News

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