The Pen High Lakers kicked off the senior boys volleyball season with a third-place finish in their eight-team Icebreaker tournament.
The Lakers swept the Mt. Boucherie Bears, who they lost to in round-robin play, for the top-three finish.
“They played really well the whole weekend,” said Lakers coach Anita Toneatto. “I was very happy with their performance. We have lots of things to work on. I was very impressed with the level of play that they are at already.”
The Lakers used the tournament to see what they are like in competition. Toneatto said it is hard to know what to focus on until playing teams. The players were given tasks and Toneatto felt they executed successfully, adding it was nice to see what their baseline is.
“They have lots of potential,” she said.
That potential begins with a squad built on 50 per cent Grade 12 players. The graduating players weren’t necessarily chosen for their leadership qualities, but their excellent skills.
“I think they will bring a lot in terms of game play. The kids who are coming up in Grade 11 aren’t necessarily as experienced with the speed of play,” she said. “That has been kind of a huge bonus in practice as well.”
George Elliot won the tournament, defeating Vernon Secondary.
This weekend the Lakers will play at a tournament at UBC.
The Maggie Mustangs finished sixth and coach Rich Corrie said it was a successful weekend with competitive games.
“We are a young team made up of only two Grade 12 players and a few players new to the game,” he said. “This weekend the team showed quite a bit of improvement as they adjusted to the speed of the senior game. We had a very close match against Vernon Secondary, who finished second, losing 15-11 in the third set.”
Mustang Max Schmeltzer was chosen as the team MVP by opposing coaches. Mt. Boucherie was fourth, Kelowna Secondary, fifth; South Okanagan Secondary, seventh; and Rutland Secondary was last.
Lakers senior girls win at TRU
The Lakers senior girls went 7-0 to win the Thompson Rivers University tournament in Kamloops. The Lakers defeated King’s Christian, NorKam, Vernon, Okanagan Mission, Seaton, Kelowna Christian School and Caledonia. Only Seaton and KCS pushed the Lakers to three sets. Lakers co-coach Robert Gunning said the team played really well and added it’s a good start to the season.