Cougars versus Trojans. Expect to see this a lot as the high school volleyball season commences as the provincial double-A schools continue their historic rivalry.
At the 2013 PGYVC Kodiak Classic Volleyball senior boys and girls tournaments on the weekend, the College Heights Cougars faced off against the D.P. Todd Trojans in the gold-medal matches for both girls and boys.
In boys' action the Cougars prevailed downing the Trojans in straight sets 25-14, 25-15, to go 6-0 in the opening high school tournament of the season with games played at PGSS, D.P. Todd and CNC.
Cougars new head coach Linden Smith said his team was a lot more focused and determined in the final then they were in the round-robin match against the Trojans in which they needed three sets to knock off their rivals 2-1 (25-19, 27-29 and 17-15).
Smith said in the first game against the Trojans an injury to Cougars' captain Brandon Cosh rattled the team when the score was tied at 27-27 in the middle set. In the game played at D.P. Todd, Cosh went to make a play to save the ball and wound up sliding into the wall and had to leave the game with a head injury. After sitting out the Cougars first game Saturday, Cosh returned to the floor to lead the team to the gold medal.
In the five-team boys tournament, the Cougars opened Friday with a 25-19, 25-13 win over Duchess Park 2 before beating the Trojans. Saturday, the Cougars beat the Cedars Eagles (25-23, 20-25 and 15-12), Duchess Park 1 (25-22, 12-25 and 15-12) before topping the Eagles in the semifinal 25-21, 25-8.
The Eagles took the bronze medal with a three-set victory over Duchess Park 1 (25-22, 19-25 and 19-17).
After three seasons working as and assistant coach for the Cougars senior boys team and coaching the junior A boys team last year, Smith said he's excited to get the opportunity to lead them in 2013.
"Coaching volleyball is my greatest passion," said Smith. "It's the best I can do right now."
The rivalry between the Cougars, Trojans and Duchess Park Condors should be a good one again this season as the teams battle for the elusive provincial double-A spots for the north central region. The Condors were the provincial silver medalists in 2012 after finishing fourth in 2011, while the Cougars finished ninth in 2012 after earning the silver medal in 2011.
In the 14-team senior girls tournament, the Trojans beat the Cougars for the gold medal, winning a three-set thriller 2-1 (26-24, 23-25, 15-12). The Duchess Park Condors junior A team beat the Cedar Eagles for the bronze medal 2-1 (25-16, 24-26 and 15-12).
All-stars for the girls were: Laura Linton (Condors Sr.), Hannah Pudlas (Eagles), Cassidy Kitchen (Caledonia), Hallie Drezet (Condors Jr.), Taylor Samuelson (Cougars), Danika Kettles (Cougar), and Hailie McKenna (Trojans). The MVP was the Trojans Jenna Sutton.
The all-stars for the boys were: Rylan Uy (Eagles), Landon Uy (Eagles), Hayden Molcak (Trojans), Cole Waldie (Trojans), and Brandon Cosh (Cougars). The Cougars Jared Pritchard was the MVP.
The Kodiak Classic junior tournament will take place at CNC, D.P. Todd and PGSS on Sept. 27 and 28. PGYVC will also host a Canada West men's volleyball exhibition match between Thompson Rivers University Wolfpack and the UBC Okanagan Heat on the Friday, 7 p.m.