By Bob Carter
A frequent high finisher at provincials, Mount Boucherie is primed for another strong run at the Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships next month.
The Bears entered the Nov. 6-7 weekend top-ranked in AAA. Coach Joel Kern is proud of what the team has achieved but not satisfied.
“We have more in the tank and more to accomplish,” Kern said. “We haven’t reached all our goals for this year, and there is still much work to do.”
Mount Boucherie has won two BC titles — AA in 1990 and AAA in 2003. In the last 13 years, it has finished third or higher six times.
This season, Boucherie fell to defending AA champ MEI in the finals of the MEI Tournament and made it to the Best of the West semifinals in Kelowna before losing to MEI again. After a poor performance at the TRU Tournament in Kamloops, the team placed fifth at a highly competitive, 16-team tourney at George Elliot.
The Bears, Kern said, have a strong core of six returnees from last year’s third-place finishers at provincials. Included are two strong Grade 12 left-side hitters, 6-6 Brodie Kern, the coach’s son, and Jeremy Bednar, both Team BC players. Grade 11 setter Bobby Blaskovits (6-3), another provincial-teamer, also started as a Grade 10.
Three other Grade 12s – 6-5 Sasha Josipovic, 6-2 Sean Haylow and 6-0 Kyle Flavin – round out the returning group.
Here’s how the coach describes the six:
Brodie Kern: “Uses that height and effective jump to be one of the most efficient outside hitters in the province, along with putting up a pretty menacing block.”
Bednar: “At nearly 6-3, he uses every inch, his quickness, and ability to see and hit angles that not all hitters at this level can.”
Blaskovits: “A setter who plays well beyond his years. With another year under his belt and Team BC and club training, his consistent location, set selection and ability to read the defence provide the team with a distinct advantage.”
Flavin: “One of those players that does it all and does it well. He has transitioned from an outside hitter to libero and just keeps getting better and better in that role.”
Haylow and Josipovic: “Sean is an excellent baseball player, and Sasha is a baller who can throw down some ridiculous dunks. Both have proven to be formidable middle and right-side attackers and have given more dimension to our offense.”
As the team moves toward the end of the season, Kern thinks it has more to show.
“We have an opportunity to do something special,” the coach said, “and will be focussed on execution as we head toward the provincial championships in Langley.”