Joel Engel of Brandon Volleyball Club passes the ball in a match against the WinMan Storm during the 15U boys’ club volleyball provincials at Brandon University’s Healthy Living Centre on Saturday evening. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Brandon Volleyball Club may not have reached its goal at the provincial 15-and-under boys’ club volleyball championship at the Healthy Living Centre on the weekend, but it did manage to improve its ranking.
The team came into the event as the eighth seed but finished the 13-team event in seventh place, which left head coach Jared Friesen pleased.
"Our guys are pretty happy with it," he said. "Obviously, it would have been great to finish a little higher. Our goal was to get fifth, but obviously we weren’t able to quite accomplish that. However, we are happy with seventh. We came in ranked eighth, so it’s an improvement for us."
Friesen, who redshirted with the Brandon University Bobcats last season, felt a lot of players surpassed his expectations, including setters Carter Hyra and Matt Robinson as well as middle Callum Cowie. They found even more success when Friesen changed the game plan and had his setters run the middle more, which helped them reach the consolation semifinals.
BVC, however, couldn’t get past Steinbach in the consolation semifinals, which dropped the team into the seventh-place match. BVC bounced back with a hard-fought 2-1 (24-26, 25-22, 15-12) win over Dakota in the seventh-place match.
Friesen was impressed with his players’ ability to bounce back after the tough loss, which is something he believes will bode well for them when they go to the Canadian West Open, set for May 17-19 in Regina.
"It was unreal all weekend," he said. "It wasn’t the back-to-back games after a loss like that, but it seemed all weekend we were down six points and we’d get right back and we’d be right back in it and competing. I thought we won a lot of games because of that. We never quit."
Meanwhile, the BVC Golden Bears, a 14U team playing up an age group, finished 11th. They defeated the Dakota Lancers 2-1 (24-26, 25-22, 15-12) in the 11th-place match.
In other club provincials:
At Winnipeg, the Storm proved to be the best Westman team with its fourth-place finish. The Storm lost the bronze-medal match 2-1 (25-19, 21-25, 16-14) to Dynamo from Winnipeg. Brandonite Brooke Schoonbaert was named to the all-star team.
At Winnipeg, Cats Gold came in as the fourth seed and left as fourth-place finishers. They dropped the bronze-medal match 2-0 (25-20, 25-23) to Blue Fire. Jordyn Pickup from Russell was named an all-star.
Meanwhile, Westman Volleyball Club defeated Parkland 2-0 (25-22, 25-23) for ninth place, the Westman-based Storm placed 14th and Bobcats Blue finished in 16th place.
At Winkler, the Russell Rampage came out as the best Westman team with their fifth-place finish in the 11-team event. They beat Brandon Volleyball Club 2-0 (25-21, 25-23) in the fifth-place match.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 5, 2014