The boys 3A provincial volleyball championships have made their way to Kelowna, B.C.
The Kelowna Secondary School (KSS) gym will be the home to volleyball teams from across the province over the next few days as they all look for their chance to walk away with the trophy.
“It’s special for our team to be able to host. Be able to showcase the talent for volleyball here in town and other championships. We always do what’s best for the sport,” said tournament director Arnar Bernhardsson.
KSS was supposed to host the provincials last year but, due to the atmospheric river that came through Southern B.C., it was moved to Richmond. The school is excited not only for the chance to host but to support local businesses.
“It obviously brings lots of economic growth into the area, like it’s good for tourism. We’re not the only ones hosting,” Bernhardsson said.
This week the girls 3A volleyball championship will be held in Lake Country at George Elliot Secondary. Okanagan Mission Secondary will be hosting the 4A tournament in Kelowna.
“We have three championships basically in the same geographical area over the next four days. It’s a tremendous boost to tourism in Kelowna,” said Bernhardsson.
Front of mind for the Owls players and coaches is the chance to repeat what they did nearly a year ago — winning the provincial championship.
“It’d be amazing. I told the kids, it’d be nice to get another banner up there on the wall and go home with a nice provincial championship ring so it’d be great,” said Owls head coach Mike Sodaro.
“We’re super excited. I mean the team has been playing really good. It’s been a great season, great group of kids and we’re looking forward to hopefully repeating this year.”
Round-robin play continues throughout the week and players aren’t letting the stress of a potential back-to-back championship get to them.
“I think most of the guys feel some pressure, too. Like, coming in number one you feel like you have to win a little bit,” said Owls player Owen McParland.
“It’s a lot of fun to be in our home gym with our crowd and everything and I’m just excited for the rest of the games to keep going,” said Owls setter Walker Sodaro.
Okanagan Mission Secondary will also be competing for the top spot in the province. The medal games will be held on Saturday with the championship game scheduled for 3:30 pm at KSS.