It’s a story that has everything we love about sports in it.
The underdog team, led by the banged up co-captain, knocks off one of the pre-tournament favourites, on their way to advancing to the quarter finals.
The injury to co-captain David Paisley happened just before the Okanagan Regionals, when he went up for a block and came down hard on an opponent’s foot, severely twisting his ankle – before the injury the Lakers were ranked No. 5 in BC at one point of the season.
“I’m real taped up right now and I’ve been icing it and doing exercises,” said the six-foot, Grade 12, libero. “We came out real strong, excited and no one let down on their intensity.”
He also added that the key to his team’s success was how well they passed the ball and the outstanding blocking of the team’s big players up front, something his assistant coach Markus Toneatto agrees with.
“I think Delta had a tough time adjusting to the big blocks, and we had a number of blocks today that went straight down, which led them to stop hitting and that was the game,” Toneatto said.
Toneatto also acknowledge just how nice it was to have Paisley back on the court.
“David’s been hurting, and today is the first day where I’ve seen him not limping,” Toneatto said. “He made a couple digs in the match where he came from the back row and the ball was off the net, and he popped it up over the net which totally changed the momentum of the match.”
The other key piece to the upset win was mountainous setter, Daniel Everton, who was described as horse today by Toneatto.
“He mixed it up on Delta today,” Toneatto said. “He would hit it hard one shot, then he’d mix it up and roll shot on them.”
“We’ve been waiting for him to play like he did today, and today he was amazing.”
Earlier in the day, the Lakers knocked off Centennial Secondary School in four sets. Something Everton thinks helped them in their game with Delta.
“We had one really good set (in their earlier game), we lost a set, which taught us a lesson that we can’t get comfortable or let up, even when we’re playing well,” Everton said still grinning ear to ear from the win. “So, for this game, we never let up and played a strong game the whole way.”
Penticton will now play Semiahmoo Secondary School tomorrow in the Quarter-finals.
For the rest of Day-2’s AAA Senior Boys results, CLICK HERE.
What do you do when you have a seven man roster and one of you players suffers a torn ACL?
You find a couple of Grade 10s to fill out the roster and travel to the BC High School Provincial Championships to take on the best AA Senior Boys Volleyball teams in the province.
“If you’re breathing you make the team in Creston,” joked Mike Nelson, the school’s vice principal and 24-year veteran coach of the Prince Charles Secondary School Bulldogs.
He also added, having a small roster is both a good and a bad problem for a coach.
“You never have to worry about playing time,” Nelson Said. “But the bad part is, it’s easy for the guys to become complacent because they’re always on the floor.”
The Bulldogs enter the tournament the No. 1 seed in the Kootenays Region after knocking off both Invermere and Grande Forks.
The key to the Bulldogs success this year has been a familiarity between several of the players – a group of which whom Nelson has coached and worked with in some way since they were in Grade 7 – and Team BC player Mark Armstrong.
Nelson calls Armstrong the edge they have over a lot schools that are in the tournament.
“He’s obviously a threat to coach,” Nelson said. “He’s quiet, but over the years, he’s found his way to lead the team.”
Nelson also added that he feels Armstrong will be a University level player and that he really does settle everything down when he’s on the court.
“He stays so calm out there,” Nelson said. “Whatever he’s feeling on the inside, you certainly never see it on the outside.”
Armstrong cites his experience with Team BC at the National Team Challenge Cup over the summer as great preparation for this tournament.
“Playing them (Armstrong’s Team BC teammates) is really fun and it’s certainly friendly competition between us for sure,” Armstrong said as he smiled.
Nelson’s son, Davis and Matty Hills, have also been key components in the Bulldogs leadership by committee group of Grade 12s.
“The first game we kind of got pummelled, but since that game, we’ve gotten back on our feet and we’re playing well right now.”
Hills added that the team seems to play its best volleyball later in the day once the team gets going.
The Bulldogs won their first game against the Pacific Christian Pacers and play Abbotsford Christian this evening.
For the rest of Day-2’s results, CLICK HERE.
By Bob Carter
Dover Bay is hardly an imposing team with only four players above 6 feet, none above 6-3. The Dolphins certainly have been a winning team, though, one that has earned the top seed and a place in Friday’s AAA quarterfinals in Langley.
They have played numerous close matches, showing a knack for big plays in crucial situations. And their coach, Josie Webb, loves them.
“Our defense has improved so much,” Webb said. “We’re relaxed on our passes, we play as a team, not nervously, and the boys really came together this season. They play for each other.”
Dover Bay, which will play two-time defending champ Earl Marriott in a morning quarterfinal, entered the tournament as the No. 2 team behind Kelowna but moved up a spot by winning the top pool on Wednesday.
Webb said her team seems to handle pressure situations well and has shown the ability to overcome deficits, even six or seven-point ones. Late in close matches, the Dolphins’ huddle is all about positive thinking.
“We never use a negative word,” Webb said. “We talk about the things we can do better, but I always emphasize what we’re doing well first. We don’t want them to be stressed out, want to keep them calm throughout.”
The Dolphins are led by hitters Jeff Webb, the coach’s son, and Quinn Mirau and setter Nathan Ziemanski.
Dover Bay advanced by beating Riverside 25-16, 26-24, 25-18.
The Dolphins split two matches this season with Marriott, losing 2-1 in the MEI tournament and winning 3-0 at the Oak Bay tournament. EMS advanced by beating Walnut Grove in three straight sets.
Fourth-seeded Oak Bay, meanwhile, made it to Friday’s quarters with a four-set win over Surrey Christian. The Barbers, though, didn’t play as well as the day before when they won the second pool.
“Too many unforced errors,” said coach Al Carmichael, “but we’ll tighten them up.”
He said the team is trying to return to the form it showed in the Islands tournament, where it lost a tough five-setter to Dover Bay in the final.
Second seed Moscrop played its entire roster in a four-set victory over Mount Baker. The Panthers didn’t play their best game but displayed some exceptional defense in running off 11 straight points to close out the second set 25-21.
“We pride ourselves on our defense,” coach David Tam said, “and strong blocking.”
Tam, in his second year heading the senior team, said Jerry Yan, Alex Ristic, Sandeep Moore and setter Justin Yee have been big contributors this season.
The Panthers will meet Van Tech Friday, a team they have gone 2-0 against.
Kelowna, which dropped from first to the fifth seed after losing all three of its pool matches, beat Reynolds 3-0 on Thursday.
“We need one more step to get back to the way we were playing,” coach Mike Sodaro said. “But it was nice to see smiles back on their faces.”
Mount Boucherie and Fraser Heights also won and will face off in another quarterfinal Friday.
Langley Fundamental’s sixth-seeded Titans got a bigger challenge than they expected Thursday afternoon but survived in four sets as they advanced to the AA quarterfinals.
An energized DP Todd team went blow for blow with Fundy in the second set, and powered by late kills from Cameron Cain and Joel Ingham, took the set 33-31.
“We underestimated them,” Titans coach Dan Johnson said, “and they played well against us. Our energy level wasn’t there.”
Fundy’s blocking improved late in the third set as the Titans erased a 3-point deficit and took the final two sets 22 and 19.
“Our guys started penetrating on our blocks,” Johnson said, “and that really helped.”
The Titans, who have only one Grade 12 starter (Luc Degianni) were led by Grade 11s Phil Stahl, Max Heppell and Zec Johnson, Dan’s son.
“We moved Zec from setting to power after the Fraser Valleys,” the coach said, “and it has given us another hitting option. He’s also a good passer.”
Fundamental, which won the BC’s in 2013, will play in Thursday’s quarterfinals against third seed Langley Christian. LCS beat Woodlands 25-15, 25-19, 25-23.
Seventh seed George Elliot overcame a poor start to turn back McRoberts in four sets Thursday in AA and advance to a night quarterfinal against Fraser Valley rival Pacific Academy. The score was 25-27, 25-18, 25-23, 25-17.
After dropping the first set, the Coyotes got back in form.
“McRoberts played well — great defense and ball control,” Elliot coach Chris Frehlick said. “But in the first set we many so many errors. We talked about it and rather than hitting bad sets out, we started keeping the ball in play.”
The Coyotes also began running their middle attack more.
“Both middles (Trevor Jones and Keenan Ladd) are new to the sport, and they played well. They got some important kills and blocks.”
Pacific Academy, seeded second, beat Prince Charles in three sets.
Top seed MEI also swept past Charles Hayes, earning a quarterfinal meeting against WL Seaton.
Seaton, seeded eighth, beat Pacific Christian in four sets, winning the third 29-27.
Other winners in AA were Langley Fundamental, College Heights, Fulton and third seed Langley Christian.