LANGLEY – By Gary Ahuja
An epic three-year run for the Earl Marriott Mariners was capped with yet another championship.
The core of the senior boys’ volleyball team won the junior provincial title (with a perfect season) in 2017 and claimed the senior title last year. And on Saturday night, the Mariners added yet another trophy to the case, shaking off some early nerves to defeat the Kelowna Owls 3-1 in the 3A championship final of the BC Secondary School Volleyball Provincial Championship at Langley Events Centre.
“It is a dream come true. It is not supposed to happen like this,”
admitted Earl Marriott’s Talon McMullin, who earned Most Valuable Player honours while twin brother Takoda picked up a First Team All-Star Award.
“We have just gotten lucky with the guys who have come to our school. We have been a tight-knit group since Grade 8, we have all played club together. To cap it off with another championship … it is just a surreal feeling.”
Kelowna was looking for their first senior boys provincial title in 66 years and they came out firing int eh first set, winning 25-19 as they looked to end their lengthy drought.
“They were just nervous in the first set and we said let’s go back to how we practice in the gym. Just like the gym, forget the crowd and just come back,” said Marriott coach Dale Quiring.
“They are so patient, so disciplined. When things don’t go our way, they just keep it together and focus on the next task that they have to do.”
A key was taking away Kelowna’s line attack, while improving their own block and passing to turn the tide. The Mariners were ruthlessly efficient over the match’s final three sets, winning 25-14, 25-11 and 25-14.
“There was no panic, we had a plan going in, it just took a bit to kick in,” Talon McMullin said.
The Marriott roster features just 10 players and Quiring alluded to the fact that some members battled through undisclosed ailments over the course of the season.
The coach also said the fact his players are multi-sport athletes is a boon to the team as their conditioning is never an issue and instead of devoting time to that in practice, they can instead focus on their volleyball skills.
“We work hard in hard in practice and then they just bring it on the court. When we are dialed and locked in, we are a hard team to beat,” he said.
In the bronze medal game, the Claremont Spartans defeated the Okanagan Mission Huskies. For full results, click here.
LANGLEY- by Derek Shuel
Earl Marriott sets sail for another AAA championship berth This AAA semi-final match up between #7 OKM Huskies and the highly decorated #1 Earl Marriott Mariners was not billed as one of the premiere games to take in. But as we all know, Provincial Championship Volleyball is anything but predictable!
The first set saw the Huskies explode out of the gate and take an impressive 10-5 lead followed up by a 17-12 lead! For those who have followed Mariner volleyball over the last few years, no one would be surprised to see this team stay calm and composed and battle back to a 25-23 win.
The next set was a thriller to watch at the beginning with each team battling for each point. With a 7-7 and 10-10 start, it truly was any one’s game. This is where Marriott begins to shine as a team. As coach Dale Quiring quoted,
“We are dialed in, locked and loaded”.He continued with “We have maintained a positive attitude. We are family, we stick together”. But it goes further than that, “I love these guys” coach Quiring said.
As the head coach of this team at the Junior level, he led them to an astonishing 38-0 with no sets lost. Furthermore, Earl Marriott is also the reigning AAA boys Provincial Champions. This is just a continuation of this belief in themselves to overcome any obstacle at any level that comes into their path. The final set of the semi-final didn’t come easy as the OKM setter Kael Murphy was outstanding. He knew his teams’ back was against the wall and he used every piece that was available to him in this battle. And what a battle it was! With the score tied up at 24-24, the OKM fans urged the Huskies on! Unfortunately, Marriott’s calm demeanor and the ability to weather the storms when they came, were too great a factor in this match. The Mariners took the set 27-25 to advance once again to the championship match vs. Kelowna Secondary who prevailed in the other semi-final vs. Claremont.
Game time for the AAA boys Gold medal game is slated for 5:00 at the Langley Events Center.
LANGLEY – As the morning of day 1 starts off- all hopes of winning the tournament remain in tact. Early on there are a few early surprises with some teams showing up ready to play.
AA #7 ranked Pacific Christian upsets #5 ranked College Heights with a 2-1 victory in pool play. With the addition of two grade nines in the starting line-up (#6 Tommy Godoy, #8 Pierrs de Greeff) , Pacific Christian looks much stronger than before. Pacific Christian coach Dennis Candell attributed his team’s success to better serving.
“We were nervous early in the match. However, in the end, we just served tougher and stronger and that was the difference.”
AA Surrey Christian showed up with a surprising and convincing victory over Hugh Mc Roberts 25-17, 25-6. It was a surprise because in the regional qualifiers, Hugh Mc Roberts defeated Surrey Christian. Coach Sean Engbers attributes their success this morning to solid play and excellent setting.
AAA- Earl Marriott avoids a near upset to Claremont after narrowly escaping with a victory 16-14 in the third set. Claremont had early pressure but as the match went on Earl Marriott managed to hang on. After Claremont was up 8-5 at the split, Claremont coach, Shon Ryan said
“We made some errors down the stretch that cost us a chance to take that. It’s unfortunate.”
EMS Coach Dale Quiring says “we had a slow start for sure but we stuck with it and got an ugly win.”
EMS struggled with numerous unforced swing errors but managed to get some key kills from Talon McMullin and Ryan Brown in game 3. Quiring added, “we have to give Claremont credit, they played well but we need to be better.”
For more results see https://www.bcssvolleyballchampionships.ca/stats#/master-schedule/2019/11
Final Seedings for the AAA Boys High School Volleyball Championships, Nov 27-30 at Langley Event Centre:
|1||Earl Marriott||South Fraser 1|
|3||Claremont||Vancouver Island 1|
|4||Oak Bay||Vancouver Island 2|
|5||Eric Hamber||Vancouver Sea-to-Sky 1|
|6||Argyle||Vancouver Sea-to-Sky 2|
|8||Riverside||Fraser North 1|
|9||Yale||Eastern Valley 1|
|10||Mt. Boucherie||Okanagan-Thompson 3|
|11||Fleetwood||South Fraser 2|
|12||Steveston-London||South Fraser 3|
|13||Fraser Heights||South Fraser 4|
|14||Seaquam||South Fraser 5|
|15||Burnaby Central||Fraser North 2|
|16||Semiahmoo||South Fraser 6|
|17||Mt. Baker||Kootenay 1|
|18||Delta||South Fraser 7|
|19||Reynolds||Vancouver Island 3|
|20||Pen Hi||Okanagan-Thompson 4|
These are Power Pools on the first day. There were some upsets at Zone Championships that change the seeding order significantly.
These are the ranking for BC High School Boys’ Volleyball AA and AAA tiers, heading into the Zone Championships week—the last step of qualifying for the BC Championships!
AAA (20 teams qualify for Provincials):
AA (16 teams qualify for the Provincials)