Another major tournament, another dominant performance by the Kelowna Owls girls volleyball squad.
The No. 1-ranked 4A team in B.C., host KSS beat third-ranked McMath Secondary from Richmond 2-1 (25-18, 22-25, 15-9) Saturday afternoon to win the Best of the West high school tournament for the fourth year in a row.
“The girls really wanted this one, they didn’t want to be remembered as the Owls team who ended the streak,” said Owls coach Tony Sodaro. “We had won a couple of tournaments already, so it was nice how the girls stepped up to the challenge and did the job again.”
The Owls won all seven of their matches over the weekend at the 48-team event, knocking off Pen High in the quarterfinals, and Surrey Christian in the semis.
Owls power hitter Hillary Schell was named the MVP for the second straight weekend.
Schell was joined on the all-star team by KSS teammates Kaitlyn Given, Amanda Hait and Cayte Wilson. Sodaro also had accolades for the play of middle McCall Capozzi whose “blocking was unbelievable.”
It was the third title of the year for the Owls who also claimed the UBC and UBC Okanagan Heat tournaments. With six weeks to go until provincials, Sodaro said the Owls goal will continue to fine tune and try build on their success to date.
“We have to work on expanding the gap, putting some distance between ourselves and the teams who are chasing us.”
Next up for the Owls is the Handsworth tournament, followed by the Riverside tournament on Nov. 4 and 5 in Port Coquitlam. Riverside is ranked No. 2 behind the Owls.
Also at Best of the West, the Immaculata Mustangs finished in a tie for seventh place.
Bears boys runners-up
The Mt. Boucherie Bears’ No. 9 ranking in B.C. 3A high school boys volleyball will undoubtedly improve after their best performance of the year at the Best of the West tournament at KSS.
The Bears made it to the championship final of the 48-team before losing to College Heights (Prince George) 2-0 in Saturday’s final.
Boucherie’s road to the final included wins over Edmonton Strathcona in the quarterfinals, and the rival KSS Owls in the semis
“We had some tough matches and knocked off some pretty good teams,” said Boucherie coach John McParland. “The guys were pretty gassed by the time they got to the final, so they didn’t have much left. They’re starting to understand their roles and do their jobs, they’re improving every week.”
Three Boucherie players, Scott Plocktis, Derek Zwaagstra and Connor Oughtred, were named to the tournament’s all-star team.
As for the host team, the Owls managed a fourth-place showing despite battling with sickness and injuries.
KSS, ranked No. 3 in the province, went 5-2 overall before losing in the bronze medal match to Surrey Christian.
“We had one starter with the flu, one who started with an injury, and another who went down the in the quarterfinals,” said Owls coach Mike Sodaro. “When you look at that, and the guys playing in situations they’re not used to, it turned out really good for us. We did surprisingly well.”
Two Owls, Liam Birker and Brendan Bourcier, were named to the tournament all-star team.
The Bears and Owls will both travel to Kamloops this weekend for the TRU tournam