The Oak Bay Barbers are the latest winners in the ongoing season series against the Belmont Bulldogs. The host Barbers bested the Bulldogs in straight sets on Saturday night to win the Island senior boys AAA volleyball championship final 26-24, 26-24, 25-22.
It was the third meeting between the teams in recent weeks as the Barbers got the better of the Bulldogs at the Lower Island championships, though the Bulldogs beat the Barbers to win the Judy Bourne city AA/AAA crossover championships.
The Reynolds Roadrunners defeated Dover Bay for third place in four sets, 25-16, 18-25, 32-30, 25-18. Those two teams join Oak Bay and Belmont at the AAA provincial championships in Kelowna, Nov. 27 to 30.
“We have to play at a near perfection level, mistake free, to beat (Belmont),” said Barbers coach Allan Carmichael.
And the series continues, as the Barbers and Bulldogs are in the same power pool for the upcoming provincials, Carmichael said.
The volleyball guru believes his team is still the underdog in the series against Belmont despite the Barbers seeking a third straight provincial championship.
“I still think (Belmont) is better than us as they’re older, and physically bigger. We have to play at a near perfection level to beat them. Our players were doing things (in the Island final) we hadn’t been able to do before. They reached a new level of execution, setting new standards for themselves.”
The key for the Barbers to get in the zone on Saturday was getting through the quarterfinal on Friday. The Barbers faced G.P. Vanier and escaped a close one, winning the best-of-three 2-1 (25-19, 22-25, 15-8).
“We didn’t play particularly well against Vanier and the win qualified us for provincials. That took a weight off the players’ shoulders. They were more relaxed in the semi (over Dover Bay) and final.
In the semis Oak Bay defeated Dover Bay 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-21) and Belmont needed all five sets to get past Reynolds 3-2 (21-25, 20-25, 25-22, 25-23, 15-12).
Leading the Barbers was tournament MVP Kyle Bourdon, and the only Grade 12 Barbers, Noah Harris and Kieran Atkinson, who play in the middle. The rest are in Grade 11, including Bourdon, except for Grade 10 power-hitter Madhu McConnell.
Island AAA all-stars
MVP: Kyle Bourdon (Oak Bay).
First team: Noah Harris (Oak Bay), Tarun Silas (Belmont), Doug Waterman (Belmont), Angelo Macalinao (Reynolds), Rob Calvin (Dover Bay), Kieran Atkinson (Oak Bay)
Second Team: Braydon Bouwer (GP Vanier), Alexis Duval (Reynolds), Taylor Montgomery-Stinson (Claremont), Jeff Webb (Dover Bay), Alex Kussauer (GP Vanier)
Best Libero: Johnny Fitterer (Oak Bay).
INSET PHOTO: AAA Island all-stars, Left to right: Tarun Silas (Belmont), Doug Waterman (Belmont), Noah Harris (Oak Bay), Johnny Fitterer (Oak Bay), Kyle Bourdon (Oak Bay), Angelo Macalinao (Reynolds), Kieran Atkinson (Oak Bay). Missing: Rob Calvin (Dover Bay.