The Pacific Christian Pacers picked up where they left off, winning the senior boys Lower Island AA volleyball championship last week despite not fielding a team last season. The Pacers were Lower Island champions in 2013.
And this weekend the Pacers are looking for more – they finally knocked off their Saanich rivals the Lambrick Park Lions last week in the Lower Island final – as they compete at the AA boys Island volleyball championship in the brand new Royal Bay secondary in Colwood.
Pacers coach Neil Ryan had guided the team to multiple Island titles in recent years with standout power hitter Cam Fennema (who is now with UBC Thunderbirds after earning the national MVP award as the Camosun Chargers won the 2015 national championship) leading the way.
“If you videotaped our first practice this year, it was mayhem, and to see the improvement from a fairly basic level to quite a high level in a short time, that’s kind of fun to do, I enjoy it,” Ryan said.
Dennis Candell – the best AA and AAA setter in town, according to Ryan and Candell’s teammate Thomas Copland – believes the competition at Islands will be even tougher than Lambrick, though PCS (10th) and Lambrick (honourable mention) are the only Island AA schools ranked among the top 10 in B.C.
“Even with club volleyball in the spring there was some long breaks over the last year,” Candell said.