A pool-round loss to Woodlands on Friday forced the Pacific Christian Pacers into a stressful Saturday in which they won the AA boys Island volleyball championship at Royal Bay secondary in Colwood.
The Pacers edged Saanich rivals the Lambrick Park Lions in a wild final, as both teams are headed to the AA provincials in Langley starting Wednesday.
“It’s our 15th trip to provincials in the last 20 years so we’re quite proud of that,” said manager Neil Ryan, who passed the torch as head coach to former Pacers Mike Welle and Jordan Campbell.
The Pacers clipped Mark Isfeld of Courtenay in Saturday’s quarterfinal before stopping Royal Bay in the semifinal.
Lambrick Park stormed ahead in the five-set final, winning the first two sets 25-22 and 25-19, before the Pacers rebounded to win 26-24, 25-20 and 15-10 for the Island title.
“Lambirck played really well the first two sets, passed almost perfectly and I don’t think they missed a serve in the first two games,” Ryan said. “Obviously it took us a while to get going… in that final we brought in a couple guys who weren’t playing as much and it made the difference.”
Pacers setter Dennis Candell was named the MVP of the tournament. Power hitter Thomas Copland stepped up to make the last few kills and win gold for the Pacers.
At the boys AAA Islands Reynolds finished third and will join Dover Bay and Belmont at the provincials. Lambrick and Stelly’s qualified among AAA girls while AAAA Mount Doug fell to third, losing to eventual winner Oak Bay in the semifinal, missing a berth to the provincials.