The Oak Bay Barbers have found themselves in familiar territory.
The Oak Bay senior boys volleyball team travels to Nanaimo this weekend for the Vancouver Island championships.
The Barbers swept through the competition last week to win the Judy Bourne Memorial Cup, their seventh city championship in the past nine years.
Oak Bay easily handled the Lambrick Park Lions 3-0 before knocking off the Reynolds Roadrunners 3-0 in the final.
“The first set was close, 25-23, but then we started rolling,” said Oak Bay coach Al Carmichael.
The final was a rematch of the Lower Island AAA Championship two days earlier, where the Barbers needed to go to extra points to win the deciding game 20-18 and claim their seventh straight Lower Island title.
“Our offence was working much better, our passing was much better,” Carmichael said of his team’s play at the city championships.
The Barbers’ coach said a number of factors have led to Oak Bay being a perennial powerhouse. Carmichael said being a teacher on staff at Oak Bay gives him an edge on the court as he is more familiar with his players. He also credits a quality junior program at the school and good feeder schools filtering players to Oak Bay.
The No. 5-ranked Barbers are one of four top-10 teams who will hit the court at the Island championships, with Dover Bay ranked sixth, Vanier eighth and Reynolds ninth.
“They’ll all be close matches but our toughest competition will be Dover Bay. They’ve beaten us twice and we’ve beaten them once this year,” said Carmichael.
The top four teams from the Island will move on to the provincials, slated for Nov. 26-29 at the Langley Events Centre.