Special to the News
The Oak Bay Barbers are the AAA senior boys volleyball provincial champions.
Coach Al Carmichael smiled only briefly Saturday night when mention was made of his fifth provincial title as a coach.
“That’s not important,” he said after the Barbers beat Mount Boucherie in five sets for the AAA championship. “It’s four for Oak Bay, that is more important.”
Carmichael’s fifth (he got his first with Mount Douglas) moved him past Rod Belinski (KLO) and into second place among AAA coaches, behind Revelstoke’s John Campbell.
Oak Bay got a huge boost from outside hitter Cole Beaver-Potts, whose two straight blocks gave the Barbers control in the fifth set, 7-4. Middle Matt Griffin followed with another, and two points later Oak Bay was up six on its way to a 15-9 clincher.
“Cole played awesome,” Carmichael said. “Blocking, that’s what he does.”
Carmichael said both Beaver-Potts and another attacker, standout Nick Middleberry, played middle the last two years. “Both learned how to block there.”
Boucherie stayed alive in a close fourth set as Brodie Kern and Jeremy Bednar provided strong front-row play. Kern’s left-side kill pushed the Bears up 23-21 and two Oak Bay errors gave Boucherie the set.
In the end, the Barbers’ blocks proved decisive, and the Island school had yet another title.
Carmichael said the school’s philosophy of athletes playing several sports contributes to a school-wide sport success.
“The school has a commitment to multi-sport athletes,” he said, “that they should – not can but should – play multiple sports.”
On Day 1 of pool play (Dec. 2), Oak Bay defeated Maple Grove 25-19, 19-25, 15-10, Van Tech 25-19, 25-14 and Fraser Heights 25-20, 25-21.
Thursday, Oak Bay defeated Surrey Christian 25-22, 25-20, 20-25, 28-26 to advance to the quarterfinals Friday morning. They defeated Kelowna 25-21, 25-20, 25-27, 25-15, then defeated their nemesis, Dover Bay, 19-25, 25-20, 26-24, 25-18 in the semi-finals on their way to gold.
Dover Bay finished with the bronze medal.