Barbers win whichever way

Oak Bay Barbers win B.C. boys AAA volleyball championship; Trio of Barbers going to college and CIS

Oak Bay Barbers power hitter Nick Stefanakis leaps for a block during the final match of the B.C. boys AAA volleyball championship versus Earl Mariott in Kelowna on Saturday (Dec. 3). The Barbers won the match 25-16

No disrespect to Lars Bornemann, chosen the provincial boys AAA volleyball most outstanding player. But you know you’re on a good team when picking an MVP is a crapshoot.

The razor sharp Oak Bay Barbers cut through the competition to win the team’s first provincial championship since 2006.

The final match was a three-set sweep of Surrey’s Earl Marriot Mariners 25-16, 25-20, and 25-15.

With so much skill throughout his roster, coach Allan Carmichael said it doesn’t matter what game the opponents use against them.

“We’re able to tailor our game plan to our opponents and the kids are able to do whatever we ask,” he said.

Against the Mariners, it meant countering the pair of 6-foot-7 middles by pushing the ball outside.

“As a result, it showcased our outside hitters, Bornemann being one of them,” Carmichael said.

And Bornemann came through, leading the attack with 19 kills on 31 attacks with power hitter Nick Stefanakis managing 11 kills.

The Barbers dominated the all-star team selections with Alex Swiatlowski (Grade 12) and Ryan Marcellus (Grade 12) named to the first team along with Leon Young (Grade 11) and Stefanakis (Grade 12).

Elion Wong (Grade 11) was named the tournament’s most outstanding libero.

It’s that depth and positional flexibility that makes the Barbers so powerful.

“If Earl Mariott had outside blockers instead of middles, then it will probably be (6-foot-7) Swiatlowski showcasing his abilities attacking in the middle (and possibly winning outstanding player),” Carmichael said.

Swiatlowski, the team’s captain, has committed to play for UBC Okanagan next year. It will be the school’s first season in the CIS.

Of the other graduating players on the roster, only centre Ryan Marcellus has currently indicated where he’ll play next year. Marcellus will join the Camosun Chargers for a chance to play with older brother Garrett in his final year at Camosun.

Coincidentally, Garrett was on the last Oak Bay team to win the provincials.

An extremely talented passer, Stefanakis is expected to play at the college level, and has the ability to be a strong libero, said Carmichael, though as a Barber he’s often tasked with other assignments. All in all, the Barbers are returning an incredibly strong team for next year centred around Wong and Young, two of the best defensive players Carmichael has ever coached.

The Oak Bay Breakers finshed 14th at the AAAA girls provincials.

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