Battling their way through a stacked field to pick up a silver medal at their home tournament represented an excellent start to the season for the Mennonite Educational Institute senior boys volleyball team.
The 12-team event featured B.C.’s top four ranked AAA teams and the top three AA squads, along with a pair of elite out-of-province teams in the Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute Hawks of Winnipeg and the Grande Prairie (Alta.) Tomahawks.
The host Eagles made it through round robin play unscathed, going 5-0, and they knocked off MBCI – the defending Manitoba AAAA champ – in three sets in the semifinals on Saturday.
MEI finally met its match in the title game, as they fell in two sets (25-22, 28-26) to the Kelowna Owls, B.C.’s No. 2-ranked AAA squad.
“It was just incredible to be playing a high calibre of volleyball in pool play and playoffs, the whole way through,” Eagles coach Jordan Geransky said.
“It’s good to know that the work we did in the summer and the work we did in the preseason is applying really well to the court. We would have loved to have won the Kelowna game, and if a few things had gone a little differently, we might have. But it’s a good vote of confidence that we’re headed in the right direction.”
Left side Ben Lieuwen and middle Jeff Driediger picked up all-star awards for the Eagles, who open the season at No. 2 in the AA rankings. Langley Fundamental, who fell in three sets to Kelowna in the other semifinal, is No. 1.