Earl Marriott Secondary won the B.C. triple-A senior boys volleyball championship Saturday with a win over the Kelowna Owls. (Paul Yates/Vancouver Sports Pictures)

Earl Marriott Secondary won the B.C. triple-A senior boys volleyball championship Saturday with a win over the Kelowna Owls. (Paul Yates/Vancouver Sports Pictures)

Earl Marriott Mariners repeat as B.C. senior boys volleyball champs

South Surrey team defeats Kelowna Owls to capture second straight provincial banner

Make some more room on the walls of Earl Marriott Secondary’s gym – for the second straight season, the Mariners are the kings of the B.C. triple-A boys volleyball scene.

On Saturday evening at the Langley Events Centre, the South Surrey squad successfully defended the B.C. title it won in 2018, this time defeating the Kelowna Owls 3-1 (19-25, 25-14, 25-11, 25-14).

The Mariners dropped the first set, before reversing the momentum and controlling play the rest of the way; the third set specifically, saw play lean heavily in the Mariners’ favour, with the South Surrey side leading by double digits more much of the set, before eventually winning by 14.

Marriott head coach Dale Quiring chalked up the slow start to nerves.

“They were just nervous in the first set and we said, ‘let’s go back to how we practise in the gym… forget the crowed and just come back,” he said.

“They are so patient, so disciplined. When things don’t go our way, they just keep it together, keep strong and focus on the next task that they have to do.”

The key to the team’s turnaround after the opening loss, Quiring said, was adjusting to Kelowna’s tendency to attack the lines

Echoing the post-game statements of his coach, Talon McMullin – who was named tournament MVP – said there was no doubt in his team despite their early struggles against the Owls.

“There was no panic, we had a plan going in, it just took a bit to kick in,” he said.

• READ ALSO: Volleyball title hopes rest on shoulders of small Earl Marriott squad

Marriott, who were ranked No. 1 in provincial triple-A rankings all season long, punched their ticket to Saturday’s final after a semifinal win Friday evening over the No. 7 seeded Okanagan-Mission Huskies. EMS won that matchup 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 27-25).

The second title in as many years continues an impressive run of provincial banners for the Mariners. In addition to last year’s win, this group also went undefeated en route to a junior boys B.C. title in 2017. Two key members of the team – twins Takoda and Talon McMullin – were also starters on Earl Marriott’s senior boys rugby team that won a provincial banner last spring.

“It’s a dream come true,” Talon McMullin said. “It is not supposed to happen like that. We have just gotten lucky with the guys who have come to our school. We have been a tight-knit group since Grade 8, we have all played club (volleyball) together. To cap it all off with another championships… it is just a surreal feeling.”

Saturday’s win – and the fact that they went wire-to-wire as the No. 1-ranked team – was made all the more impressive considering Marriott’s roster is smaller than nearly every other senior boys squad in the province, with just nine players – 10 if you include Grade 9 Andrew Armstrong, who was called up to add bench depth last weekend at provincials. By comparison, Kelowna had 14 available players Saturday.

Quiring was quick to credit his team’s dedication – as well as the work of his physiotherapist wife/assistant coach Shelley – for keeping the small squad healthy and energized all the way through the final game.

“We work hard in hard in practice and then they just bring it on the court. When we are dialed and locked in, we are a hard team to beat,” he said.

In addition to Talon’s MVP award, Takoda McMullin was named a first-team all-star, while fellow Mariner Josh Quiring was named to the second team.

Other Surrey teams to compete at the triple-A tournament included Fraser Heights, who placed 10th, Fleetwood Park, who were 15, and Semiahmoo, 18th.

In the quad-A senior girls tournament – held concurrently with the boys tournament – Cloverdale’s Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers finished second, losing in Saturday’s championship game to Kelowna.

The Semiahmoo Totems were also in the mix, but were upset by lower-seeded Handsworth in quarter-final action Friday night. Earlier Friday, in the round of 16, Semiahmoo defeated Elgin Park. Elgin began the day with a win over North Peace.

Tweedsmuir’s Bailey Dorohoy was named to the tournament’s first all-star team, while Alysha Goundrey (Tweedsmuir) and Tara Wallack (Semiahmoo) were named to the second team.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This week, in advance of the Canadian Junior Hockey League trade deadline, the Surrey Eagles traded the playing right to Cade Alami to the Prince George Spruce Kings. Alami left the BCHL last month to play in the United States. (Damon James photo)
Surrey Eagles add, subtract from roster as junior-hockey trade deadline passes

With BC Hockey League season still up in air, team makes flurry of moves

(Delta Police Department photo)
North Delta youth calls 911 after accruing $7K in online gaming charges

‘Police spoke with the student about appropriate times to call 911’

Image Surrey.ca
Surrey council resurrects, fast tracks 84th Avenue connection at Bear Creek Park

The city put the brakes on this project in 2007 because of community opposition

Brady
‘Don’t give up’: Surrey man touts RAAC clinic for opioid addiction

Fraser Health has opened a second Rapid Access to Addiction Care clinic in the region

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

“Our biggest challenge has been the amount of vaccine,” said FNHA acting chief medical officer Dr. Shannon McDonald. (First Nations Health Authority Facebook photo)
All First Nations on reserve to be vaccinated by end of March: First Nations Health Authority

Vaccinations continuing for B.C. First Nations amid shortages

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. NDP announces Site C will go ahead with new $16B budget

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

The last three wild northern spotted owls live near the Spuzzum Watershed outside of Hope. The province recently ordered a halt to logging for at least a year to give the owls a chance to survive.  (Photo/Jared Hobbs)
Logging halted in northern spotted owl habitat near Hope

Halt will last at least a year, gives time to formulate survival plan for Northern Spotted Owl

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Several BC Ferries sailings are cancelled Friday morning due to adverse weather. (Black Press Media File)
Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay ferry sailing cancelled due to high winds, sea state

Adverse weather causes cancellations across several BC Ferries routes

The BC Prosecution Service announced last year that it was appointing lawyer Marilyn Sandford as a special prosecutor to review the case, following media inquiries about disclosure issues linked to a pathologist involved in the matter. (Black Press Media files)
Possible miscarriage of justice in B.C. woman’s conviction in toddler drowning: prosecutor

Tammy Bouvette was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty in 2013 to the lesser charge

A kid in elementary school wearing a face mask amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Metro Creative)
Union asks why an elementary school mask rule wouldn’t work in B.C. if it does elsewhere

B.C. education minister announced expansion of mask-wearing rules in middle, high school but not elementary students

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Most Read