Barbers spike back-to-back volleyball championships

Oak Bay Barbers boys volleyball team undefeated at AAA provincials

Oak Bay’s Leon Young

The Oak Bay Barbers boys volleyball team made no assumptions about how far it could go this year.

At least, not out loud.

But it’s no shock to co-coach Rick Wutzke, as the Barbers repeated as the 2012 AAA champions at UBC-Okanagan.

The Barbers defeating the Kelowna Owls in three straight sets of the final on Saturday (Dec. 1), finishing the provincial tournament undefeated despite going in ranked third.

“We lost some games this year but I’m not surprised (we are B.C. champs),” Wutzke said. “Eight of the 12 Barbers are from the same group from Lansdowne middle school that won the national club championship in their Grade 8 year.

“It’s been a fun ride with these guys, it’s quite the talented group.”

For the Barbers, it’s the second straight B.C. title and the third in seven years, having won it in 2006.

This year may have started different, but it ended the same.

“We told the guys, you have to remember everybody wants to knock us off; as soon as you let your guard down they’re ready to jump on you,” Wutzke said.

That’s been the mentality from the outset this year, as the Barbers entered every gym wearing a target, the talk of the province.

The key was finding a way to replace the graduated stars from the 2011 team such as 6-foot-6 Alex Swiatlowksi to the UBC-Okanagan Heat, Ryan Marcellus to the Camosun Chargers and Nick Stefanakis to the VIU Mariners.

That was done with 6-foot-7 middle Graeme Prendergast (Grade 12), and the continued growth of players such as Dan Phillips, Sawyer Stein and Talon Rimmer.

They all supported the team’s big three of setter Leon Young, power hitters Elion Wong and Lars Bornemann, who was named the most outstanding player of the provincial tournament for the second-straight year.

Though the 2012 Barbers weren’t able to run undefeated through the tournament and regular season as they did in 2011, they were just as good.

“We lost about four games along the way, at crucial times,” Wutzke said, “spots where we shouldn’t have lost but we did, but it’s all character building.”

By crucial, Wutzke is referring to the Barbers getting knocked out of the UBC and Thompson Rivers tournaments early this season.

The route to the provincial final saw Oak Bay defeat Island rivals Dover Bay in Game 1 of the playoffs on Thursday, Elgin Park in the quarterfinals on Friday morning and, Moscrop in the semifinals on Friday night.

It set up a rubber match final between the Barbers and Kelowna Owls, with each having defeated each other once in previous meetings this season.

Oak Bay won in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.

The Lansdowne pipeline

Wutzke, a retired teacher who co-coaches the Barbers with Oak Bay science teacher Al Carmichael, has brought many players through the Lansdowne pipeline, and there’s another crew coming to the Barbers, led by budding Grade 10 star Kyle Borden.

It’s where Young, Wong and Bornemann all came from.

“Six of the guys on the junior team that won the B.C. Summer Games last year (U15) and were second in the club provincials will be Barbers,” Wutzke said.

Barbers Noah Harris, Kieran Atkinson, Chris Dzoiba and Isaac Walters were also key members of the 2012 championship.

sports@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria invited to get a closer look at Sunday’s lunar eclipse

Special event allows public to view the moon through UVic telescopes

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Victoria Whisky Festival kicks off this weekend

Whisky-lovers flock to Hotel Grand Pacific for weekend events and tastings

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

25 drivers in Victoria pulled for drug impairment since cannabis legalized

Little change seen in number of impaired drivers since new laws enacted

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Social media strains over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

Resident forms Community for Clean Water, and Jennifer Rice responds to acting mayor’s comments

Dog dies saving B.C. family from burning home

Homeowners safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Investigators await forensics in fatal Mill Bay police shooting

Independent investigation continues after Chris Bloomfield killed in Mill Bay in November

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Most Read