KSS wins AAA Boys Gold!

KSS wins AAA Boys Gold!

Original host Kelowna, loses best player, adapts to new circumstance, after 5 silver medals; finally wins first boys title since 1953

 Richmond, BC – Originally supposed to be a coronation on home soil, the Owls from Kelowna Secondary School had to adapt to a relocated tournament, losing their best player and the weight of a history of silver medals.


Kelowna was scheduled to host the ‘AAA’ Boys’ championship this year, but after the flooding and highway washouts the event was originally delayed and then moved to Richmond. With 15 of the qualified teams from the lower mainland, BCSS made the decision, with support of Kelowna to move the event to McMath Secondary and Steveston-London Secondary just days before the event.  The challenges didn’t end there as Kelowna lost Sebastian (Seba) Manuel, the grade 12 athlete generally accepted as the best player in the province, on the first point of their 2nd round robin match on day 1 of the tournament. What was supposed to be a team so dominant, playing on their home court, now was being challenged in unexpected ways.

KSS Head Coach Mike Sodaro joined the KSS staff in 2010 and has led the Owls to the provincial championship tournament each year since his arrival. The 10-year run had seen the Owls finish 2nd an unbelievable five times, never being able to secure the coveted BCSS championship banner.

After cruising through the first day of power pools, and then the round-of-16, quarterfinals, and semifinals, without dropping a set, in-fact, no team scored more than 20 points in any of their games. They were met with a talented and athletic team from Elgin Park (Surrey, BC).

Elgin Park, led by Grade 12 setter, Nicholas Johnson, whose ability to put the ball in the perfect spot nearly every time for his hitters, put pressure on the Owls they hadn’t seen throughout the tournament. The first set saw the Owls balanced attack manage the pressure and take a 25-21 victory. The second saw the teams’ trading points, and a 21-21 score, before a big block by Kelowna middle blocker Hudson Farrell, turned the tide and a few Elgin errors led to Kelowna to a 25-22. While nobody would have blamed Elgin for packing it in after being down 0-2, Johnson, with teammate and middle blocker Kendall Homenick found another gear and willed their team to an early lead in the 3rd set. Kelowna pushed to narrow the lead down to three in the middle of set, before Elgin regained control and gave Kelowna its first set loss 25-19.

With Kelowna facing its first test of real adversity in the championships, the question was on how they would respond, and their class showed through. With Grade 11 setter Walker Sodaro, continuing to run the offence seamlessly while still adapting to the loss of Manuel earlier in the tournament, the Owls started to stretch a lead in the middle of the 4th frame, and didn’t let Elgin Park have any momentum. It was fitting when Sodaro went back and served an ace to close out the match and secure Kelowna’s first Boys’ volleyball title since 1953 (68 years).

Kelowna Coach Mike Sodaro in post-game remarks stated
“I will tell you this. These players have been coached by a number of coaches from Kelowna over the years and we are fortunate to have a coaching community in Kelowna that takes time to develop these young men into great athletes.” Sodaro continued “They have all followed the KSS volleyball program over the years and we were committed from day 1 to make this the year that we finally got that Gold Medal. We are so proud of them, and their hard work has paid off, even when our team Captain went out. This was a great TEAM effort. Special thanks to my coaching staff Brady and Steve.”


A semi-final for the history books


Elgin  Park  had  an  interesting  journey  just  to  make  it  to  Saturday’s  championship match. They defeated a surprising team from Reynolds in the quarter-final, going a thrilling 5-sets before they secured a 15-11 win. This set up a semi-final with host school McMath. While crowds were limited by COVID-19 safety protocols, those in attendance for the home team came to life and willed their team back after losing the first two sets, and McMath obliged, coming back to win the 3rd and 4th to force a 5th set with a trip to the finals on the line.

This is where things got a bit weird. With Elgin up 5-3 in the 5th set, the power went out at the school. The gymnasium was plunged into darkness except for a few emergency lights. The game was paused while BCSS and the school officials determined options. When it became apparent that the outage was widespread across much of Richmond due to the windstorm and likely would be out for a couple of hours, the best option was to move the game to Steveston-London Secondary, who still had power. The teams, officials, and fans packed their things, while caravanning the 3.7km in the dark to the new location. The school had to be unlocked, court set up, bleachers pulled out, but it all happened in minutes. The teams were provided 15 mins to warm up again and the match continued.

It was here that McMath coach Daniel Wong, demonstrated the kind of sportsmanship and leadership you don’t see every day. The rules stipulate that a game that is forced to change location during the match should start the current set over. When arriving at the Steveston-London, while players warmed up, meeting with the Head Official and Tournament Director, Wong, despite being down 5-3, indicated that the game should resume from that point. When asked later about the situation he simply replied, “They had earned that lead, it was the right thing to do to play on from that point.”

BCSS Executive Director, Jordan Abney, who was also serving as Tournament Director due to the last-minute relocation remarked,

“the entire situation was just crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it, but I was just so impressed how everyone handled it. Admin from both schools, the players and coaches, the fans. It was amazing to see the school sport community come together like that. It made me really proud.” Abney continued, “as for Coach Daniel Wong, stating the match continue from that score, what can you say? A display of sportsmanship and leadership you rarely see, especially with so much at stake. Just an impressive leader for those young men he coaches.”

The total delay in the match from when the power went out, to when the ball was put back in play at Steveston-London was 55 minutes. Elgin stretched their lead, before McMath made a late run, tying the game late. Ultimately, Elgin prevailed 15-13 in the 5th, closing out a match that no athlete, coach, official or fan will forget. A match that had a winner and a loser on the scoresheet, but really displayed the very best of school sport.


Most Outstanding Player: Walker Sodaro (Setter, Kelowna) Most Outstanding Libero: Steve Yah (Libero, McMath)

First Team All Stars

  • Sam Jablonski (Outside Hitter, Kelowna)
  • Hudson Farrell (Middle, Kelowna)
  • Nicholas Johnson (Setter, Elgin Park)
  • Kendall Homenick (Middle, Elgin Park)
  • Justin Peng (Outside Hitter, Claremont)
  • Tyler Tran (Setter, McMath)


Second Team All Stars

  • Gavin Margerison (Middle, Kelowna)
  • Zach Yewchuk (Right Side, Elgin Park)
  • Ethan Chang (Outside Hitter, McMath)
  • Carter Munro (Outside Hitter, Claremont)
  • Isaac James (Outside Hitter, Steveston-London)
  • Daniel Lafleur (Outside Hitter, Fraser Heights)


Honourable Mention:

  • Tristan Cumming (Outside Hitter, Reynolds)
  • Nathan Lee (Outside Hitter, Steveston-London)
  • Sean Kennedy (Outside Hitter, Belmont)
  • Isaac Brajcich (Right Side, Claremont)
  • Jake Bolton (Outside Hitter, McMath)





Gold: Kelowna

Silver: Elgin Park

Bronze: McMath

4th: Claremont

5th: Fraser Heights

6th: Steveston-London

7th: Reynolds

8th: Oak Bay

9th: Moscrop

10th: David Thompson

11th: Argyle

12th: Dover Bay

13th: Belmont

14th: Kwantlen Park

15th: Walnut Grove

16th: Burnaby Central


About BC School Sports

BC School Sports is the governing body for school sport in British Columbia. BCSS offers opportunities for interschool competition in over 19 activities to over 70,000 student-athletes each year. Our membership consists of over 440 member schools, with students in Grades 8-12. School sport returned this fall, after a 17-month shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Media Contact:


BC School Sports Jordan Abney Executive Director

jabney@bcschoolsports.ca 604-477-1488

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Teams are seeded in power pools for the initial round-robin.  Pool winners will move up, 4th in pool will move down, to set the brackets for the round of 16- see info below. Tournament hosted by Pacific Christian – BC Boys AA Volleyball Provincials 2021 – Pacific Christian School

Langley Christian pumped up during a recent Home Game!

#4 ranked Langley Christian pumped up and getting together to celebrate during a recent Home Game! Photo: Dilan Bandara

Tournament SEED


Pool A
1 MEI EV 1
2 PCS VI 1
3 Duchess Park NC 1
4 Langley Christian EV 2
Pool B
5 College Heights NC 2
6 Summerland TOK 1
7 Seaton TOK 2
8 Pacific Academy SF 1
Pool C
9 Revelstoke TOK 3
10 Lambrick Park VI 2
11 SMUS VI 3
12 Gladstone VS2S 1
Pool D
13 McRoberts SF 2
14 Smithers NW 1
15 Selkirk KT 1
16 Point Grey VS2S 2



AAA Tournament SEED


Pool A
1 Kelowna TOK 1 (host)
2 Claremont VI 1
3 Elgin Park SF 1
4 McMath SF 2
Pool B
5 Steveston SF 3
6 Argyle VS2S 1
7 Penticton TOK 2
8 Burnaby Central FN 1
Pool C
10 Fraser Heights SF 4
11 Oak Bay VI 2
12 Moscrop FN 2
Pool D
13 Sahali TOK 4
14 David Thompson VS2S 2
15 Reynolds VI 3
16 Walnut Grove EV 1
Pool E
17 Kwantlen Park SF 5
18 Dover Bay VI 4
19 Prince George NC 1
20 Belmont VI 5
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2021 AAA Boys High School Volleyball Championships- BULLETIN #1

2021 AAA Boys High School Volleyball Championships- BULLETIN #1


2021 AAA Boys High School Volleyball Championships

Tournament Coordinator – AAA Boys Tournament Director Tony Sodaro – tony.sodaro@sd23.bc.ca

  1. Schools are asked to submit their roster (first and last name, grade, number, height and position) team photo (landscape with numbers visible), and school logo to BCSS on Stars no later than Monday November 22th, 2021 at 9:00 AM. If you cannot meet this deadline you may not be in the 2021 Program.


  1. UNIFORMS – Please take care of this right away if your team is not in compliance.

Uniforms All players except the libero must be dressed in identical uniforms, including shorts. Players uniforms must be numbered 1-99 with the number showing on the front and back of the uniform. The libero uniform must be a different dominant colour than the rest of the team and the libero number must not be the same number as any other player. If a coach wishes to raise a concern about the opponent’s uniforms, they must raise the issue with the tournament director prior to the start of the match.


  1. Tournament T-shirts and clothing: Team Order Forms will be due online by Tuesday, November 23, 2021 by 11:59pm. Online information to come ASAP!


  1. Tournament Hotel

Accommodations Sandman Hotel in Kelowna is the Official Tournament Hotel sponsor and has been block booked for this tournament.  Teams can send their information after their zone qualification tournaments (with the number of rooms needed) to:


Accommodation Reservations

Adam Spivey

Sales Coordinator




  1. Registration Invoicing:

Invoicing for the registration will be through BCSS.  You will be invoiced directly for the entry fee, pre ordered merchandise, and passes (if applicable).

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Elliot, Killarney grab seventh place

Elliot, Killarney grab seventh place

By Bob Carter

Langley — George Elliot (AA) and Killarney (AAA) won seventh-place matches Saturday at the Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships, and it wasn’t easy for either.

Colin Fu had some key blocks for Killarney

Colin Fu had some key blocks for Killarney PHOTO: Paul Yates, Vancouver Sports Pictures.

Elliot rallied to beat McRoberts 22-25, 27-25, 15-13, and Killarney defeated Reynolds 25-22, 25-21.

“We had a lot of nerves the first two days,” Elliot coach Chris Frehlick said. “The boys were loose today.”

The Coyotes’ hitting standout, Fynn McCarthy, finessed a soft, short shot down the line for the winning point in the second set, and Elliott played some hustling defence in the third.

Frehlick, whose team’s finish matched its seed in the championship draw, said libero Jared Darley and setter Morgan Nichols had a good match, and Fynn “got the kills when we needed them.”

Giant killer Killarney, which stunned No. 3 Van Tech in the round of 16, lost a five-set toughie in the quarterfinals to Seaquam on Friday. The Cougars then lost to Earl Marriott later that day but rallied in the second set to get past Reynolds.

“Everybody contributed in some way,” Killarney coach Jeremy Westereng said. “It’s very validating to not lose today after getting to the top eight.”

The Cougars entered bracket play as the 14th seed.

Westereng said libero James Joseph “was on fire again” on Saturday. Joseph shared back-row responsibility with Jojo Passave. The coach said Justin Mo was the team’s best hitter in the match and that the Cougars’ middles (Colin Fu and Ty Loster) did some solid blocking.

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Firehawks enjoy good start in AAA

Firehawks enjoy good start in AAA

Fraser Heights

#1- Ryan Christian and #5-Andrew Gamble both dive for the ball in the game against Walnut Grove. [Photo credits to Paul Yates]

By Bob Carter

Fraser Heights’ loss in its zone final may come back to bite AAA teams in this week’s Big Kahuna BC Volleyball Championships at the Langley Events Centre.

The Firehawks lost a tough five-setter to Walnut Grove (18-16 in the fifth) in the Fraser Valley final after taking the first two sets.

They opened Pool F play in the BC’s on Wednesday by beating Van Tech in three sets and Walnut Grove in two.

“It made the boys hungry, being so close to winning the Fraser Valleys,” coach James Ahn said. “We’ve been having some good practices.”

Ahn said his team was a little inconsistent after Chase Wood, a regular right side starter, rolled his ankle in practice. Wood played part-time on Wednesday and provided a spark.

“I put him in the back row and it seemed to stabilize us,” Ahn said.

He noted that first-year setter Aarshdeep Masson and middle Shaan Sidhu, who is playing his first year of volleyball, have been solid contributors.

Oak Bay also got off to a good start in Pool F, defeating Walnut Grove and Van Tech, and was to play Fraser Heights in its final pool match.

In the top pool (E) in AAA, three of the first four matches went to three sets. Top-ranked Kelowna beat Okanagan rival Mount Boucherie in three sets and No. 2 Dover Bay won twice in three, edging Moscrop and Boucherie. Moscrop rebounded to beat Kelowna in two.

In Pool G, defending champ Earl Marriott started with a 25-22, 25-16 victory over Penticton.

In Pool H, Delta defeated Mount Baker in two, and Reynolds opened with a two-set win over McMath.

In Pool K, Prince George bear Belmont in two, and Riverside edged North Peace 17-15 in the third set.


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