Langley — Close matches highlighted the start of the Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships on Wednesday at the Langley Events Centre. The senior boys high school event runs through Saturday.
Improving Condors win opener:
Duchess Park, seeded seventh in AA, continued its late-season upward swing by winning in three sets over fifth-seeded George Elliot. The Condors, from Prince George, prevailed 25-15, 17-25, 15-11.
“Every single weekend we’re getting better,” Duchess coach Lee Karpenko said.
The Condors, who have an all-grade 11 starting lineup, lost in three to Elliot at the TRU tournament.
“We played really well defensively,” Karpenko said. “Everything behind the attack line we handled, and that set us up on offence.”
Karpenko said middle Cody Boulding “played an outstanding match, but it was a good team effort.”
VAN TECH rallies:
The No. 2 seeds in AAA lost the first set to fourth-seeded Walnut Grove, but came back to win, 18-25, 25-18, 15-12.
“We had a tough time adjusting to their height,” Van Tech coach Aaron Lock said. “Timing was an issue.”
Lock said the keys to winning included:
— Better serving, “taking more chances as they got more comfortable.”
— Improved play from 6-4 standout Colton Liu, who got blocked several times in the first half of the match but came on Strong. “He started using (hitting off) their hands.”
— A solid game from Eric Truong, last year’s top AAA libero. “He was hustling and getting a hand on everything he could.”
LCS WINS in TWO:
Top AA seed Langley Christian beat No. 3 MEI, the two-time defending champ, 21-19.
“We were really just trying to find our rhythm,” LCS coach Carol Hofer said. “Our serving was good, put us in a good position. Offensively, we put the ball in and we did a good job of controlling the play at the net.”
The Lightning have a 5-1 record against MEI this year.
They got a good performance from Matthias Dahl, a grade 11 setter-turned-libero. Dahl is filling in for grade 12 libero Brandon Visscher, who dislocated a shoulder and will miss the BC’s.
“He’s doing quite well,” Hofer said of Dahl. She also praised middle blocker Christian Christie: “He was strong offensively and blocking.”
PA EDGES FUNDY:
Pacific Academy, AA’s second seed, lost the first set to Langley Fundamental but rallied to beat the No. 4 Titans in three (15-13).
“Our passing got a lot better,” PA coach Daniel Vissia said.
Vissia moved Nate Teasdale from the right to left side, “and that seemed to help. “It freed him up on sets that weren’t perfect, and we tried to use the middles a little more, too. Plus, our blocking got much better.”
CLAREMONT wins squeaker:
The young Spartans from Vancouver Island got over a little service-receive rut and took their opener over Penticton 27-25, 25-23.
“The boys attacked well and scrambled well,” coach Shon Ryan said, whose team has only two grade 12s and a starting lineup that includes two grade 10s.
“It was nice to see them stay composed and push back to get the victory. It was a nice reference point for starting the tournament.”
Lorenz Vogel, a 6-5 grade 12 who has moved from middle to power, played well. “He has a nice all-around game and can generate a lot of power with that thin frame,” Ryan said. “He’s been steady over the course of the year.”
Grade 10 power Reed Smith was another good contributor for Claremont. “He plays 6-back (on defence) and kept a lot of balls alive.”
Slow start for ISFELD:
AA Mark Isfeld fell to Prince Charles 25-18, 25-19 in Pool C.
The Ice have had some boys playing through injuries and got off to a slow start.
“We didn’t come out well early,” coach Wayne Della Siega said, “weren’t hitting the floor on defence. But the kids will rebound.”
Della Siega said right side Nathan Rutten and power Anthony Xylinas, both grade 12s, performed well in the opener.