One was winning in Revelstoke. The other was winning in North Vancouver.
Vernon Christian School Royals senior girls and boys volleyball teams won their respective high school tournaments over the weekend.
Jason Reedyk’s senior girls won the 10-team Last Spike event in Revelstoke for a second straight year, beating Armstrong’s Pleasant Valley Saints in straight sets, 25-18, 25-16, in the gold-medal game.
Strong serving, led by Kaitlyn Hofsink’s four aces, proved to be the difference in the finals.
The Royals faced the home team Revelstoke Avalanche in the semi-finals, outlasting them 25-11 25-23.
“Revelstoke challenged our girls and it was great to see them raise their level under pressure,” said Reedyk.
In the quarter-finals the Royals dispatched the Charles Bloom Timberwolves of Lumby 25-14 25-6 on the back of strong serving led by Olivia Pederson’s nine aces. The Royals finished first in round-robin play, defeating Salmon Arm Jewels 25-16 25-18, David Thompson Lakers of Invermere 25-14 25-14, Nakusp Cougars 25-8 25-9 and Golden Eagles 25-12 25-13.
The Royals finished the tournament without dropping a single set.
“Our girls were able to put a lot of teams out of their system, leaving them scrambling,” said Reedyk. “Consistent hitting from Sarah Nenasheff, Meredith Pederson and Trinity Rmple led the Royals’ offence. Timely hits from Kalia Anderson and Lauren Blattler helped energize the team. Great hustle and passing from Kaitlyn Hofsink, Kadence Sayer and Marie Niles set up the Royals offence.”
VCS improved to 18-4 on the season, continuing to hold on to their ‘A’ level ranking of second in the province.
In North Vancouver, the Royals’ senior boys kept rolling over opponents as they went undefeated to take the Argyle Pipers’ Invitational Tournament.
The defending B.C. champion and current No. 1-ranked A Divison Royals beat four teams ranked in the top-10 of AAA to take the title.
The Royals opened pool play on Friday by defeating the Pipers (No. 7) 3-1 (25-27, 25-17,25-20, 25-21). They continued their successful run by next brushing back the Oak Bay Barbers of Victoria (No. 5) 3-1 (25-27, 25-19, 25-17, 25-22), and then the Riverside Rapids of Port Coquitlam (No. 9) 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-14).
In the round of 16, the Royals tamed the Bodwell Bruins of North Van 2-0 (25-09, 25-17) and then in the quarters, took on a tenacious, hard-working team in Sir Charles Tupper of Vancouver but came out with a familiar result; a 25-17, 25-17 win.
The semifinals saw VCS take on Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks (No. 10) and the ‘Hawks came out firing and took the first set 25-17. The Royals responded by digging deep and taking the next two sets 25-18 and 15-5. Devin Hofsink led the team in attacks with nine kills, Liam Remple had eight while Levi VanderDeen added seven. Team setter Jacob Defeo had 27 assists and two service aces to seal the win.
In the finals, the Royals had a solid match against a strong Fraser Heights Firehawks team from Surrey. Like the semis, the Royals dropped the first set 25-22, but rebounded to become tournament champion by taking the next two sets 25-19, 15-6. Ben Molitwenik led all attackers with 10 kills. Remple had eight kills and added two solo blocks. Hofsink chipped in with eight kills and a service ace. Team libero Shawn Huizinga had a solid weekend making many solid digs and passes to continue rallies for the Royals offense to capitalize.
Defeo had 28 assists and three service aces. He and Hofsink were named tournament all-stars.
“I would say that we need to work on eliminating slow starts and get more into a groove early in the match,” said Royals co-coach Chris Bannick. “We have a huge block and hit very well; just need to work on our consistency to be hungry for the ball and made better first passes so we can run our up-tempo offence.”
Both Hofsink and Defeo were selected as tournament all-stars.
Royals’ next action is the Best of the West 32 team tournament to take on the best in the province in Kelowna, October 18-19.