Barbers spike back-to-back volleyball championships

Oak Bay Barbers boys volleyball team undefeated at AAA provincials

Oak Bay’s Leon Young

The Oak Bay Barbers boys volleyball team made no assumptions about how far it could go this year.

At least, not out loud.

But it’s no shock to co-coach Rick Wutzke, as the Barbers repeated as the 2012 AAA champions at UBC-Okanagan.

The Barbers defeating the Kelowna Owls in three straight sets of the final on Saturday (Dec. 1), finishing the provincial tournament undefeated despite going in ranked third.

“We lost some games this year but I’m not surprised (we are B.C. champs),” Wutzke said. “Eight of the 12 Barbers are from the same group from Lansdowne middle school that won the national club championship in their Grade 8 year.

“It’s been a fun ride with these guys, it’s quite the talented group.”

For the Barbers, it’s the second straight B.C. title and the third in seven years, having won it in 2006.

This year may have started different, but it ended the same.

“We told the guys, you have to remember everybody wants to knock us off; as soon as you let your guard down they’re ready to jump on you,” Wutzke said.

That’s been the mentality from the outset this year, as the Barbers entered every gym wearing a target, the talk of the province.

The key was finding a way to replace the graduated stars from the 2011 team such as 6-foot-6 Alex Swiatlowksi to the UBC-Okanagan Heat, Ryan Marcellus to the Camosun Chargers and Nick Stefanakis to the VIU Mariners.

That was done with 6-foot-7 middle Graeme Prendergast (Grade 12), and the continued growth of players such as Dan Phillips, Sawyer Stein and Talon Rimmer.

They all supported the team’s big three of setter Leon Young, power hitters Elion Wong and Lars Bornemann, who was named the most outstanding player of the provincial tournament for the second-straight year.

Though the 2012 Barbers weren’t able to run undefeated through the tournament and regular season as they did in 2011, they were just as good.

“We lost about four games along the way, at crucial times,” Wutzke said, “spots where we shouldn’t have lost but we did, but it’s all character building.”

By crucial, Wutzke is referring to the Barbers getting knocked out of the UBC and Thompson Rivers tournaments early this season.

The route to the provincial final saw Oak Bay defeat Island rivals Dover Bay in Game 1 of the playoffs on Thursday, Elgin Park in the quarterfinals on Friday morning and, Moscrop in the semifinals on Friday night.

It set up a rubber match final between the Barbers and Kelowna Owls, with each having defeated each other once in previous meetings this season.

Oak Bay won in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.

The Lansdowne pipeline

Wutzke, a retired teacher who co-coaches the Barbers with Oak Bay science teacher Al Carmichael, has brought many players through the Lansdowne pipeline, and there’s another crew coming to the Barbers, led by budding Grade 10 star Kyle Borden.

It’s where Young, Wong and Bornemann all came from.

“Six of the guys on the junior team that won the B.C. Summer Games last year (U15) and were second in the club provincials will be Barbers,” Wutzke said.

Barbers Noah Harris, Kieran Atkinson, Chris Dzoiba and Isaac Walters were also key members of the 2012 championship.

sports@vicnews.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Marine security company posts live seal cam at Oak Bay Marina

Seals tend to loiter near the fish-cleaning table

Victoria woman experiencing homelessness wants systematic changes as she faces losing her truck

Willi Boepple fears losing one of her last possessions after being inundated with parking tickets

UPDATED: Two-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

Passengers destined for Tsawwassen without a reservation should allow for extra time at terminal

End of an era as Buddies Toys leaves Oak Bay Avenue

Victoria location merges with parent shop in Sidney

Tour de Victoria: The downlow on detours in the region

Thousands of cyclists participating in ninth Tour de Victoria

WATCH: Family dog missing after fire tears through Metchosin home

Firefighters continue to monitor for hot spots

Victoria Shamrocks open WLA finals at Q Centre in Colwood

Team is evenly matched in championship series against Maple Ridge Burrards

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

RCMP on Vancouver Island seek information on alleged ‘breaking out’ bandit

Man alleged to have hid in Nanaimo business washroom ceiling overnight, took monitors

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read