High school volleyball: Okanagan Mission claims crown on home court after weather left them in limbo last year

Kelowna side was the No. 4 ranked team in the province last year going into the B.C. tournament when massive flooding forced them to stay home and not travel to event in Nanaimo

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Mother Nature wasn’t going to get in the way of the Okanagan Mission Huskies’ chase for a high school Quad A girls’ volleyball provincial title this year.

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The Kelowna team was the No. 4-ranked side going into last season’s B.C. tournament. Massive flooding around the province days before the competition was to begin made travel both difficult and expensive, and the Huskies pulled out of the championships at Dover Bay in Nanaimo just ahead of the event.

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They immediately applied to host this year’s Quad A finals. They won that bid and on Saturday won that tournament, the No. 1 seeds beating the No. 2 Mount Boucherie Bears of West Kelowna 26-24, 25-19, 21-25, 25-11 in the title matchup.

“Can you imagine that, considering everything that happened?” OKM coach Rob Steciuk said. “We were pretty excited to be at home with the gym packed and playing a team from across the lake in Mount Boucherie in the final. It was special to have an all-Okanagan final. Mount Boucherie is well-coached and their athletes are talented and just nice kids.”

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The Huskies were largely a split between Grade 12s and 10s last season, according to Steciuk. They didn’t lose a match at the provincials this time around and were 20-1 in set wins, with that lone defeat coming to Mount Boucherie in the final.

It’s the first volleyball provincial banner for OKM, which opened in 1978. It was the second time they’ve been in a final, following a second-place showing in the Double A ranks in 1999.

OKM’s Kylie Taylor was named the tournament MVP, while teammates Grace Blaskovits and Shea Berisoff were named first team all-stars, along with Mount Boucherie’s Marija Josipovic. OKM’s Anna von Krosigk and Mount Boucherie’s Sarah Henricksen were picked to the second all-star team.

“We feel like we played in a lot of big games this year and we tried to focus on not letting the moment get away from us,” Steciuk said. “We were constantly talking about trusting each other and trusting in our systems and about being present in that particular play and then moving onto the next one.

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“We were never talking about the provincials. Not even going into the final.” 

Steciuk pointed to the Huskies winning the prestigious Red Serge tournament at Port Coquitlam’s Riverside in early November as one of the key points of the season. They beat the crosstown Kelowna Owls, who were the No. 1-ranked team in the province at the time, in the semifinals, and then ousted the South Delta Sun Devils in the championship game. 

Taylor was named tournament MVP there.

“I think we started finding ourselves then,” Steciuk said. “That’s when we started coming together with our team culture. We talked about culture and what attributes you need to be a good teammate and a good student-athlete all season. When you can focus on things that aren’t necessarily technical and tactical, I think it gives you a better chance of having good results.”

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OKM had won the Best of the West tournament at Kelowna in mid-October as well, beating South Delta and then Mount Boucherie to take the crown. 



Triple A: Kelowna.

Double A: Langley Christian.

Single A: Vancouver Christian.


Quad A: Okanagan Mission.

Triple A: McMath.

Double A: Kalamalka.

Single A: Credo Christian.

[email protected]

twitter: @SteveEwen

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reference: theprovince.com

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