The Kelowna Owls were as close to flawless as a team can be over two days of volleyball.
The host KSS squad lost just one set all weekend set en route to capturing the senior girls’ title for the fifth straight year at the Best of the West tournament.
The defending provincial gold medalists looked every bit like a championship team, winning seven straight matches and clinching the 2012 title Saturday with a convincing 2-0 win over Langley Fundamental.
The Owls most exciting match of the tournament was an all-Kelowna affair in the quarterfinals as KSS outdueled the KCS Knights 2-1.
Cayte Wilson, Megan Witala and Erin Konrad were all named to the tournament’s all-star team.
“Cayte was definitely the best player in the tournament and Erin Konrad was huge at the net. She was the best blocker in the tournament and a huge offensive force for us,” said Owls coach Tony Sodaro. “Megan Witala was the top Libero in the tournament, with some amazing dig and extremely consistent passing.
“Katie Valgardson was our go to player all weekend long and Gabby Down did a great job setting while Cayte Wilson was in the front row hitting. All three of our middles played great.”
The Kelowna Christian Knights defeated Kalamalka to finish in fifth spot overall out of 48 girls teams.
Owls 4th, OKM 5th in boys
The host KSS Owls took fourth place out of 38 teams on the boys draw of the Best of the West tournament.
In a strong power pool loaded with some of the top AAA teams in B.C, the Owls finished a solid second.
In the playoff KSS advanced as far as the semifinals before losing to Edmonton Harry Ainlay.
“KSS had incredible passing from Ty Campbell all weekend, but struggled in the hitting department late in the tournament,” said Owls coach Mike Sodaro, whose team is ranked No. 3 in B.C. at the AAA level. “Another great passer was libero Jory Dickie, who stepped up defensively for the team.”
“It was a good finish for us and we look forward to improving offensively over the next two weeks.”
Meanwhile, the OKM Huskies proved they belonged on the same court as the province’s top programs with a fifth-place showing, their best-ever finish at Best of the West.
The Huskies advanced to the quarterfinals of the championship round where they lost to the eventual champions, Fraser Heights, 25-21, 25-17.
OKM then defeated Delta to claim a tie for fifth with Earl Marriot.
OKM had some all-star performances, including from Grade 11 phenom Isaac Smit who blasted his way to a team-leading 97 kills over the weekend. Backing him up was Alex Beitel who was a workhorse on the offense with 29 kills.