The Claremont Spartans are the 2017 Vancouver Island junior boys volleyball champions. Photo submitted

Junior Spartans win second-straight Island volleyball title

Spartans seniors fall to Oak Bay in Island final

The Claremont Spartans junior boys took the Island volleyball championship for the second straight year last week while the Spartan senior boys were Island finalists.

The win by the junior boys was part of an impressive season, going undefeated with a record of 40-0 against their opponents. They’ll travel to Kelowna for the junior boys provincial championships, starting Nov. 22.

Among their accomplishments this season the Spartans finished first in South Island junior boys league play, won tournaments at V.I. University, Claremont, Belmont, the junior boys city championship and now the junior boys Island championship.

“The victory comes as a result of a full team effort,” said head coach Johann Cherry.

With so many talented guys on the team, it makes player selection difficult, Cherry added.

What makes the Spartans special is a group of tall players with the kind of height that is rarely seen on a junior team. Middle blocker Ethan Boag is six-foot-seven, middle blocker/power hitter Kaden Brajcich is six-foot-four, power hitter Shaun Schonert is six-foot-two, middle blocker Nik Babaeff is six-foot-three and setter Crash Wergeland is five-foot-10.

In the Island final, the junior Spartans edged St. Andrew’s 25-22 in the first set then overcame a 10-3 deficit to win the second set 25-20.

Schonert was named tournament MVP with Wergelend selected to the All-Star team.

”The neat thing about this team is not just their skill but also their respect toward each other and the game,” Cherry said. “They’re all friends and support each other on and off of the court.”

The five-some of aforementioned players also played minutes with the Spartans senior team, helping that squad to the AAA senior boys Island final (only to lose to Oak Bay).

“This year is an anomaly,” said Spartans senior coach Shon Ryan. “That group of boys trained with our senior team all season and four of them flew to Edmonton [with us] from Sept. 6-10 to the U of Alberta senior boys tournament and were able to compete at a high level.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

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