Royal Bay Ravens’ Logan Judge (right) blocks a shot from Kelowna Owls’ Jayden Lalone during the B.C. high school provincial AAA volleyball championships at the Langley Events Centre over the weekend. The Ravens finished 15th overall. (John Morrow/Black Press)

Royal Bay senior boys finish 15th at provincials

Coaches proud of volleyball team’s first appearance at provincials

Despite some hard fought battles, Royal Bay Secondary school’s AAA senior boys volleyball team fell short at provincials last week.

The Ravens finished in a tie for 15th in their first appearance at the 2017 B.C. Volleyball Championships at the Langley Events Centre on Saturday.

“We had a very good season and both coaches are extremely proud of how hard the boys worked and how far they’ve come this year,” said coach Dante Diponio, who shares head coaching duties with Kris Johnson, a teacher and coach of the volleyball teams at Dunsmuir Middle School.

RELATED: Royal Bay senior boys punch ticket to volleyball provincials.

Royal Bay ranked 12th heading into provincials, after defeating the Claremont Spartans in three straight sets at a qualifying tournament Nov. 17 to 19 at Oak Bay Secondary school.

Up first, the Ravens took on David Thompson Secondary and won 3-1 to advance. They then played Dover Bay for a spot in the quarter finals, but lost.

The biggest challenge: playing with eight players instead of 10. Setter, Nolan Thoroughogood, was unable to attend the tournament because of scheduling conflicts arising from his participation on Team Canada’s high school golf team. Andrew Michalski was also away competing in a lacrosse tournament.

In its final game, the Ravens took on fellow Islanders Oak Bay, and lost “somewhat controversially,” Diponio said.

It was tied 14-14 in the third set when a call went in favour of Royal Bay. However, Oak Bay’s coach put in a formal protest for the committee to review the call. In the end, the call was reversed, Oak Bay was given a point and a serve, which led to its game-winning point shortly after.

Diponio said the team fought hard to the last minute.

“We did really well in terms of really battling,” he said. “I felt really good about that match because we were playing the number three-ranked team and we almost beat them. We played a very good game … It was a team effort.”

The Ravens were one of 20 teams to qualify for the championships this year. In the end the Seminahmoo Secondary School Totems placed first for the second straight year.

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