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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Fifth place finds Fraser Heights

Fifth place finds Fraser Heights

Fraser Heights' Jordan DeShane hammers a ball straight down. - Photo by Brittany from Action Sports Photos.

Fraser Heights’ Jordan DeShane hammers a ball straight down. – Photo by Brittany from Action Sports Photos.

Playing for fifth place may be a letdown for teams expecting more but winning still has its place.
Before Fraser Heights, a team that had title aspirations, swept GP Vanier in two sets in Saturday’s AAA fifth-place match, Firehawks coach James Ahn reminded his players of the match’s potential significance.

“When they look back at the experience, knowing they played well, played hard, it will be important,” he said. “And you never want to end the season on a loss. This was a character win more than anything else.”

Ahn said Jordan DeShane, Carter Kirilenko and libero Eric Schramm, all Grade 12s, played particularly well for the Firehawks.
Grade 12 attacker Braydon Brouwer had another big game for Vanier. Surrey Christian won fifth place in AA with a 25-20, 25-23 victory over DP Todd. Falcons coach Joe Melissen said setter Linden Medel had a strong game and was healthier than he was earlier in the week. Medel hurt his hip playing hockey last week. Melissen also cited libero Ryan Venn — “his best match of the tournament” — and the play of captain Joe Mooy.

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