The Vanier Towhees senior boys volleyball team is hosting the 2012 Comox Valley North/South Challenge this weekend (Nov. 2-3).
The 10-team tournament includes #2 AAA Oak Bay, #14 Ballenas, #9 AA Gulf Islands and #18 AAA Reynolds. Local teams include Vanier, Isfeld and Highland.
The Towhees are led by Braeden Brouwer (Grade 10), Alex Kussauer (Grade 11) and Sam Kussauer (Grade 11). Vanier is young team that has steadily improved throughout the season, says head coach Brian McAskill.
“Major improvement has been seen from Cole Penney (Grade 11) and Isaiah Mayo (Grade 11). Team leadership has been provided by Bryan Johnson (Grade 12) and Aaron Slobodin (Grade 12),” McAskill said.
“This team is one of the youngest and most inexperienced in my 15 years coaching at Vanier,” McAskill said. “I have been thoroughly impressed with their work ethic and their ability to steadily improve throughout the season.”
The young squad has reached several quarter-finals and a couple of semifinals in Island tournaments throughout the season, with Brouwer receiving an all-start nod at the Camosun Chargers tournament in Victoria at the end of September.
“Braedon has the potential to be a special player, not just at the high school level but the college and university level in future years,” McAskill said. “He does need to continue to work hard and challenge himself every day in practice and strive to dominate each and every match he is involved in,” the coach added.
Vanier recently won the Comox Valley League championship over Highland and Mark Isfeld, but McAskill is still demanding a higher level of play. “We still need to reduce our errors, add a right side and middle attack to our offence and play intense defence as the playoffs approach.
“We have made it through too many stretches of this season by pumping the ball outside to Brouwer and Kussauer. As the playoffs approach we need to make Penney, Slobodin and Mayo a bigger part of the offence,” McAskill said.
Play at this year’s Vanier tournament began Thursday night when the Towhees took on the Gulf Island Scorpions. Play continues Friday with games from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday with games from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Joining Vanier, Highland and Mark Isfeld in the North pool are Ballenas and Dover Bay. In the South pool are Gulf Islands, Burnaby South, Oak Bay, Reynolds and Claremont.
– Vanier Towhees