Nothing appears to faze the senior boys Duchess Park Condors volleyball squad.
Less than a week have being named the top double-A boys' team in the B.C. High School Athletic Association rankings, the Condors staged a first set comeback in the final Saturday to capture the gold medal at the Kelly Road secondary senior boys volleyball tournament.
Tournament MVP Sam Yurkowski and the Condors fell behind 7-1 to the College Heights Cougars in the opening set of the final but battled back to win the match in straight sets, 27-25, 25-20.
"They came out really hard and we just weren't expecting it," said Yurkowski. "College Heights is getting a lot better. They're turning into real competition."
After the Cougars earned their seventh point, Condors coach Keith Wood called a time out to remind his troops that they had the ability to overcome the slow start.
"He told us to just play our game and to keep going the way we know how to play instead of dropping down a level," said Yurkowski.
It worked, as the Condors fought back to close within two points and eventually tied the set at 18-18. It was a seesaw battle the rest of the way with both side having the opportunity to serve for the set. On the Condors second set point, Erik Minck served an ace that hit the floor between a pair of unsuspecting Cougars.
Peter Minck, who stepped up from his assistant perch to head coach of the Cougars on the weekend as Jay Guillet had a prior commitment, said the losing the first set after holding the lead deflated his team and it showed on the court in the second set.
"They were certainly a little bit disappointed they lost that first set," said Minuk. "We think we can play with them so we're hoping in the next little while we'll see even more effort out of our boys."
The Cougars were the fifth-ranked double-A boys team in the province last week winning the consolation pool of the Best of the West tournament in Kelowna. The Condors won the bronze medal behind Fraser Heights (a triple-A school from Surrey) and Harry Ainley (a four-A school from Edmonton).
The Condors finished the tournament at 6-0 while the Cougars were 5-1. The injury-riddled D.P. Todd Trojans (4-2) beat the North Peace Oscars (3-3) in straight sets, 25-23, 25-23, to claim the bronze medal. The Kelly Road Roadrunners (1-3) tied for fifth place with the Mackenzie Sabres (0-4) while Chetwynd and Hudson Hope tied for seventh.
In addition to Yurkowski, the tournament all-stars were, Matt Starzyk (Cougars), Andrew Stewart (Oscars), Jordan Foot (Trojans), Cole Laviolette (Roadrunners), Jared Pete (Sabres), Ethan Pshyk (Chetwynd) and Hawk Taylor (Hudson Hope).
Both the Condors and Cougars along with the Roadrunners and Trojans will head to Kamloops this weekend for the annual Thompson Rivers University high school tournament. Kelly Road will play host to senior girls volleyball Friday and Saturday.