written by Bob Carter
Top ranked AAA Kelowna and Defending Champs Earl Marriott move to Saturday’s AAA final with pulsating four-set semi-final victories Friday night at the LEC.
The teams will square off again at 5 p.m. for the gold medal. MEI will play C.L. Fulton at 7 p.m. In the AA final
KSS, the top seed, beat rival Mount Boucherie 26-24 in the fourth game and made the title match for the third consecutive year. The Owls lost to Oak Bay in 2012 and to Marriott last year.
“I think we’re determined to take another shot,” coach Mike Sodaro said.
Sodaro thought the Owls’ passing and blocking was inconsistent but liked the way his team kept battling through adversity.
Boucherie, using some stellar defence, ran off seven straight points to take a late lead in the fourth set. After finally getting a side-out, KSS stabilized and went on a hot streak of its own to snare the win.
“Eli (Risso) led the team back,” Sodaro said of his Grade 12 setter. “He settled everyone down and Devon (Cote) just kept swinging away.”
Cote won the spike competition earlier in the evening.
Marriott beat Oak Bay for the third time in three matches this season, rallying late to take the fourth set 25-23 and setting up a rematch of last year’s finalists.
The Mariners’ hard-attacking style eventually broke down the Island champions, who had been on the verge of tying the match at two sets each until Marriott’s final charge.