KSS loses stars but keeps rolling

By Bob Carter

KSS Owls Ryan Samuelson elevates for the block. image credit: Douglas Farrow

KSS Owls Ryan Samuelson elevates for the block. image credit: Douglas Farrow

After losing several players to the CIS ranks, you might think Kelowna Secondary   would have slipped down the boys’ volleyball charts this season. Not so.  Yes, Devon Cote and Eli Risso, both now at UBC Okanagan, and Sam Taylor-Parks   (Thompson Rivers) were big contributors as KSS finished second last year in AAA. But   this season’s group has more than held its own, moving to the top of the rankings.  “It’s been a good start. The guys in Grade 11 last year have filled in and are doing a   great job,” Owls coach Mike Sodaro said. “The team is very coachable.”  One of the key players is Grade 12 Ryan Samuelson, who played middle last year   but is now a 6-foot-5 setter.

”Ryan has improved tremendously from last year,” Sodaro said. “He really wanted to be a setter and has worked hard. He did a lot in the summer to get ready.”

Another Grade 12 who has improved is Matt Cespedes.  “Last year he played very little,” Sodaro said, “but he’s working hard and would like to go to college. He needs to work on his passing. Hitting-wise and defensively, he gives   it 100 percent.”  KSS played well in the 40-team Best of the West Tournament last weekend, its only  defeats coming to Alberta power Jasper Heights in pool play (losing 31-29 in the first of two sets) and later to MEI in three sets in the quarterfinals. “A great match,” Sodaro said.  MEI went on to beat Mount Boucherie in the semis and Jasper in the Gold Division final. The tournament, played on 12 courts, also included 40 teams on the girls’ side.


Author: Dean Weiss

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