Oak Bay High rules the court on Vancouver Island. The school captured the Vancouver Island championship over the weekend in both senior boys and senior girls volleyball.
The Oak Bay Barbers rebounded from a slow start to win a rematch against the Vanier Towhees to take the senior boys AAA crown in Nanaimo.
“It was a good performance for us because we didn’t play particularly well on Friday. We dropped that first match to Vanier,” said Barbers coach Al Carmichael.
The Courtenay squad earned a convincing 2-0 win on Friday but Oak Bay recovered in Saturday’s elimination match against their crosstown rivals the Reynolds Roadrunners.
“We started slow again, dropped the first set, but then got our game in line. We won the next two fairly convincingly,” said Carmichael.
The Barbers continued to roll with a win over the host Dover Bay Dolphins in the semifinals.
“It’s a team that we have struggled against this year but we came out with a convincing 3-0 win.”
Oak Bay stormed out to two-set lead in the rematch against Vanier in the finals. The Towhees took the third set but the Barbers hung on in the fourth for a 3-1 win (25-18, 25-16, 21-25, 25-23).
“The Grade 12s particularly played like they’re capable of. They stepped up to give us the points when we needed them,” said Carmichael.
The team now travels to the Langley Events Centre for the provincial championships Nov. 27-29.
“We still need to improve, we need to raise our game level if we want to be in the top four,” said Carmichael, who sees the Kelowna Owls as the team to beat.
“They’re pretty much, hands down, the class of the field,” said Carmichael, who is confident the Barbers can earn a spot in the semifinals.
“Then once we’re in the semifinals, all the stars need to line up at that point. It’s just who’s playing the best volleyball at that time.”
The Oak Bay Breakers used home-court advantage to rise to the top of the senior girls AAAA field on the Island.
Oak Bay got revenge for an opening round loss to knock off the West Shore’s Belmont Bulldogs in the final 3-1 (25-21, 25-27, 25-11, 25-18).
“The girls were focused on the task at hand by beating Claremont in straight sets [3-0] in the semifinals and then beating our arch rivals Belmont in the finals,” said Breakers coach Scott Millington.
Oak Bay’s Annie Pringle was named tournament MVP, while Morgan Roskelley was named a first-team all star and Madison Skala to the second team with the Oak Bay team that claimed its first Island title since 1973.
“It was our goal as a team since the start of the season to win the Island championship,” said Millington. “It has been a long season with lots of injuries, but the feeling of winning the island title will heal any physical pain that they have.”
The Breakers will now travel to Cranbrook for the provincial championships Nov. 27-29 at Mount Baker secondary.