The Duchess Park Condors knew all season they were going to be one of the host teams of the 24-team B.C. junior boys volleyball championship and came to the court well prepared.
They won six of seven matches, including a 2-0 (25-21, 25-19) win over the Alpha Eagles of Burnaby in Saturday’s bronze-medal match at the College of New Caledonia.
“Honestly, it was just the effort the boys put in this year,” said Condors head coach Griffin Olexyn. “Their confidence going into the tournament and their defence was awesome, the boys were just dialed in and they wanted it. It’s not often you get to host provs at home and they were ecstatic about it.”
Backed by all-star performance from setter Sam Cramer (first team), right-side hitter Owen Martin (second team) and middle blocker Santigo Gonzalez (second team), the Condors lived up to the pressure of performing at their best in gyms packed with friends and family.
“Sam is an amazing kid, he’s one of the hardest workers out there all the time, always trying to get better,” said Olexyn, , who shared the coaching duties with his father Jason. “He’s maybe a little undersized for a setter but he doesn’t show it. He’s a great leader out there.
“Owen and Santiago were pretty locked in and they played awesome this weekend. The future of Condor volleyball is amazing, the talent pool at the school is insane. I don’t see anything but good stuff coming from these guys in the next couple years.””
The other Condor players are Brayden Woroshelo, Jonah Barette, Doyle Roberts, Tomiwa Afolabi, Sawyer Roberts, Carson Patterson, Jesse Bomford and Callum Whitehouse.
The only tournament loss for the Condors came in the semifinal round earlier Saturday, when they fell in straight sets (25-9, 25-14) to the Langley Christian Lightning.
The Lightning went on to defeat the Kelowna Owls in three straight sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-16) in the best-of-five championship match.
Other final placings for north central Interior teams were as follows: College Heights 11th, PGSS 12th, D.P. Todd 13th, Shas Ti Kelly Road 18th, Bulkley Valley 19th, Chetwynd 20th.