Rob Basi has coached Reynolds Roadrunners volleyball for more than 20 years and is counselling one of the surprise teams this season.
The senior boys Roadrunners won the recent University of B.C. Invitational, coming first in a field of 40 teams.
“It’s the first time we’ve won a tournament like this,” Basi said.
In pool play the Roadrunners dusted Yale, Eric Hamber, Van Tech and Credo Christian in two straight sets. Then came a top-16 win over Gladston, a quarterfinal win over Claremont, 15-12 in the tiebreaker third set, before a semifinal win against Steveston-London and final win over Delta.
“It’s been a while since we had a strong team but (many senior boys teams) are strong. Belmont (Bulldogs) have a group that’s been together for five years, Oak Bay is always skilled and had a nice win over Belmont at the Camosun tourney, and Claremont is faring well.”
At the heart of the Roadrunners is a good core of Grade 11s who had an exceptional junior season last year where they finished second at the Mennonite Educational Institute tournament in Abbotsford and won the Vancouver Island University tournament in Nanaimo.
Among the Grade 11 group is setter David Lee, who, in Basi’s eyes, should have been named the UBC tournament MVP. Lee and Grade 12 power hitter Alexis Duval, who brings much needed height to the team at 6-foot-3, were named to the UBC tournament all-star team.
“We’re still not polished, we need to work on the little things,” Basi said.
Lambrick Lions crowned with No. 1 ranking
It’s early but the Lambrick Lions are so far deserving of its Oct. 1 ranking as the top AA girls volleyball team in the province.
The Lions are no strangers to being among the top teams but it’s been a couple years since they were in the provincial gold medal final.
In its first two league games the Lions swept both the Stelly’s Stingers and Mount Douglas Rams in three straight sets, part of the new best-of-five model being used in senior girls league play.
The Lions also performed well at the UBC Invitational back on Sept. 20 and 21, making it into the final against Neelin from Brandon, Man., that province’s reigning provincial champs.
Two of the Lion’s wins came against top-ranked B.C. schools, the No. 1-ranked AAA Timberline and No. 1-ranked AAAA Kelowna Christian, as well as last year’s AA champs Kalamalka.