Marriott, Claremont roll to AAA semis

Earl Marriott attacking the Mt. Boucherie Defense with success in play-off action.

Ben Francois of Earl Marriott attacking the Mt. Boucherie Defense with success in play-off action.

By Bob Carter

Earl Marriott and Claremont may not have been playing at their highest level on Friday morning, but the two AAA teams won in three straight sets at the Kuhunaverse Sports BC Volleyball Championships.
The pair will meet in the semifinals at 7:30 Friday night.
Marriott’s top-seeded Mariners beat Mount Boucherie 25-15, 26-24, 25-17. The Spartans, who entered the tournament as the third seed, defeated upset-minded Argyle 25-20, 25-22, 25-20.
EMS, which hasn’t lost to a AAA team all season, nearly lost a set for the first time in the tournament.

“Our passing was excellent in the first game today,” coach Al Schill said. “But it slipped in the second — we lost our focus a little — and then it got better in the third.”

The Grade 11 McMullin twins, Talon and Takoda, provided a spark in the third set when the Mariners built a double-digit lead.

“They’re good energy guys, very reliable, and swing very well,” Schill said. “The twins are definitely impact players.”

He also noted the solid play of another Grade 11, Ben Francois. Schill played most of his roster as he has all week and during the season.
The team wasn’t overly concerned about the closeness of the second set, he said. “They understood it was a messy game, that they had to get dirty and move on. Sometimes you just have to grind it out.”

Claremont gets past Argyle in AAA Quarter Final Action. Photo by VancouverSportsPictures.

spar* SPARTANS GET ANOTHER SHOT: Claremont had to do some grinding as well to turn back a gritty Argyle team that had upset Delta 3-2 the day before. The young Spartans had gone 0-3 in Wednesday’s top pool before rebounding with a convincing 3-0 win in the round of 16 on Thursday.

“We played much better against Pen High than today,” coach Shon Ryan said. “The kids weren’t as fired up emotionally.”

Ryan rolled in a number of capable hitters, including Gerry Peng, Reed Smith, and middles Kaden Brajcich and Ethan Boag. Nik Babaeff, who played middle for much of the season while Boag recovered from a pec injury, performed well in the back row.

“He was very steady today, and he’s been very steady,” Ryan said.

He knows the team is eager to play EMS again after losing 2-0 to the Mariners in pool play.
“It’s exciting to get another opportunity,” he said. “The kids looked scared the first time.

“We just have to play our game, and worry about ourselves, what we do. We need to pass well.”

Author: Dean Weiss

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