Sports

Kodiaks add to trophy case

Credo Christian’s James DeLeeuw tries to tip the ball past a couple of Cedars Christian players during the B.C. Single A provincial volleyball championships in Kelowna.  Credo won this match in straight sets and went on to win the bronze medal. - Roger Tepper/Black Press
Credo Christian’s James DeLeeuw tries to tip the ball past a couple of Cedars Christian players during the B.C. Single A provincial volleyball championships in Kelowna. Credo won this match in straight sets and went on to win the bronze medal.
— image credit: Roger Tepper/Black Press

For the second straight year — and the fourth time in the past 11 — the Credo Christian Kodiaks are on top of the volleyball world.

The Kodiaks captured the Single A B.C. provincial high school senior boys’ volleyball championship on Saturday at the UBC Okanagan campus in Kelowna, defeating Bulkley Valley Christian 3-1 (25-20,22-25,25-16,25-11).

“It is rewarding,” said Credo coach Stan de Haan.

“It is an accomplishment for all the work we have put in.”

The Kodiaks went 2-1 during pool play, defeating Bulkley Valley Christian and Cedars Christian before losing to Kelowna Christian.

In the quarter-finals, the Kodiaks beat Sparwood in a five-set thriller before sweeping Cedars Christian 3-0 in the semifinals.

That set up the championship showdown with Bulkley Valley, who had upset Kelowna Christian in the other semifinal.

De Haan said his team’s loss in round robin to Kelowna Christian left the players “pretty unhappy.”

“It was a wake-up call,” he said.

“We knew we could play better and we had to do better if we wanted to keep going.”

“We made it through some tough challenges, but pulled it off in the end,” said Ben Togeretz, the team’s off-side hitter who won the most valuable player award.

Speaking about the loss to Kelowna Christian, Togeretz said it helped focus the team for the rest of the tournament.

“We knew we could do better than we did, we just had to keep fighting,” he said.

A big part of the team’s success was the leadership of Togeretz, the team captain who still has one more year of high school.

“He was just very consistent throughout every game,” de Haan said.

“And he is an excellent leader.”

Togeretz was like a de facto coach this past season, usually doing the talking during timeouts as well as being vocal on the court.

For his part, Togeretz said he was surprised to win the award.

“I thought a couple of other guys on our team could have won,” he said.

“Our whole team played well; I could not have done it without them.”

Nathan Van Delden was named a first-team all-star while Nick Heeterbrij and Josh Van Delft were both honourable mentions.

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