It was a meeting of Central Okanagan rivals in the final of the BCSS ‘AAAA’ Girls Provincial Championship, and the host team came out on top.
Okanagan Mission Secondary of Kelowna beat Mount Boucherie Secondary in an energy-charged match in front of a packed crowd at OKM on Saturday.
Huskies head coach Rob Steciuk says winning the title was extra sweet considering what the team went through last year.
“We were one of the top teams in the province. Ranked number 4 going into provincials last year, but we had those catastrophic floods on the Coquihalla and then we had a boatload of snow. The Coquihalla was shut down and about 24 hours before we were supposed to leave we couldn’t go,” said Steciuk.
Flying to Vancouver Island for the tournament was just not financially viable. He says that’s when one of the parents jumped in and suggested they make a bid to host the 2022 tournament.
“We were awarded it last February and we started planning it last April,” he adds.
This marks the first time in school history that OKM won a provincial banner in volleyball and only the second time in school history their volleyball program competed in a final. The last time was in 1999 when OKM was a small AA school and earned a Silver medal in Girls' Volleyball.
Going into last weekend’s tournament it was a much different story. They were ranked number 1 and went undefeated right through until the final, when MBSS managed to take one set off of them.
Meeting in the championship match in front of a local crowd made it extra special.
“What an amazing experience,” said Mount Boucherie head coach Shauna King. “It was so much fun to play in front of that many great sports fans. You could tell everybody was invested in the game. I don’t know what the actual crowd was but it felt like there were over 900 people there.”
Several of the local plays were named provincial all-stars. OKM's Grace Blaskovits and Shea Berisoff and MBSS's Marija Josipovic were first team all-stars. OKM's Anna von Krosigk, MBSS's Sarah Henricksen, and KSS's Ryenn Schutz got second team all-star awards. The tournament MVP was OKM's Kylie Taylor.