(This story has been corrected since it was first published.)
The Vancouver champion Eric Hamber Griffins worked their to the senior boys AAA volleyball final Thursday night but couldn’t overcome the best team from Burnaby, the Moscrop Panthers.
The No. 1 Vancouver team lost in five sets 15-25, 25-12, 25-17, 20-25, 19-17 to the No. 1 Burnaby team on their home court at Moscrop secondary.
Vancouver volleyball coach and organizer Ken Li watch the exhilarating final and said it was one of the best this decade.
“It was the most hotly contested championship finals in my eight years as the zone rep with exciting rallies, big hits, digs, and blocks,” he said. “It was an amazing match.”
Hamber’s six-foot-five setter Aleks Borisov has played the second half of the season with a lower back injury and did not offer the offensive attack he favours. John Dela Cruz came up big and led Hamber with 14 kills.
The home crowd gave the Panthers a boost but both teams had chances to take the game.
“Moscrop serves tougher as a team and have a guy who can put the ball away at will with a variety of shots. Both teams play amazing defensively and will make teams [at Provincials] work for every point,” said Li.
Richmond secondary defeated the No. 2 Vancouver Magee Lions 22-25, 25-18, 19-25, 25-19, 15-10 for third place.
Magee finished fourth overall. To qualify for the third-place game, they defeated the Vancouver No. 3 David Thompson Trojans in four sets to secure a berth at the AAA B.C. provincial championship — a first in school history.
Hamber, Moscrop, Richmond and Magee will represent the Lower Mainland at the AAA senior boys Provincials Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 in Kelowna at UBC Okanagan.