The MEI Eagles senior boys volleyball team rolled to a three-set victory over the Surrey Christian Falcons in the Fraser Valley championships Thursday night, showing exactly how dominant the boys in blue and gold have been this season. The Eagles won 25-17, 25-17, 25-7, while using all 14 players on the squad in some capacity. While MEI has a long history of volleyball excellence, this year’s team is in its own league.
The Eagles are 31-1 this season, their perfect record marred by a single hiccup against the Kelowna Secondary Owls (currently first in the Triple A rankings). They’ve beaten the top teams from across Western Canada despite a lack of size in the roster, and have proven themselves as one of the most skilled squads in MEI history. Under coach Jordan Geransky, the senior-heavy Eagles are top in the Double A rankings, and heavy favourites entering the provincial tournament at the Langley Event Centre on Nov. 26-29.
The Eagles controlled all three sets on Thursday night against the Falcons, and rarely conceded an easy point on their way to victory. Power hitter Jordan Loewen, who, partnered with teammate Jordan Koslowsky, won gold at beach volleyball nationals last summer, led the Eagles with 12 kills. Close on his heels was Kaden Gamache with 11.
Falcons coach Joe Melissen thought his team played hard, even if they were outclassed. “They’re very balanced,” he said of MEI. “Their ball control is by far the best. They’re really good at getting good attacks back at you no matter what ball you give them.”
In the third set the Eagles established an early 10-point lead, and players began to rotate off the floor with increasing regularity. Despite the expanding cast, MEI continued to build their advantage while providing opportunities for their bench to get some touches in.
“Something that we’ve been focusing on from last year is just playing to our own potential,” said Koslowsky after the game. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, we want to be as good as we can be, and each guy wants every other person on the team to succeed. We want to be as successful as we can be as a collective.”
Geransky was able to step back and let his team manage themselves, which is a type of leadership he’s been building into the squad since he took over last year.
“I try to engage with each guy on an individual level and then get them to buy into each other as much as possible,” he said. “What we’ve tried to do over the last few years is really equip all these guys to mostly coach themselves.”
Levi Block and Kaden Gamache were selected as Fraser Valley tournament all-stars, while Koslowsky was named tournament MVP. The senior setter, who has already committed to TWU next year, was honoured to be chosen for the award amidst such a talented team. He credited Geransky for putting the time into his development (they’ve worked together since Koslowsky was in middle school), and spoke to the respect he has for his coach.
“Respect comes from success and wisdom,” he said, “and [coach] has had success and he’s a freaking wise person!”
Geransky just kept smiling, but what else can anyone expect from a proud coach after a 31-1 season?