Barbers spike back-to-back volleyball championships

Oak Bay Barbers boys volleyball team undefeated at AAA provincials

Oak Bay’s Leon Young

The Oak Bay Barbers boys volleyball team made no assumptions about how far it could go this year.

At least, not out loud.

But it’s no shock to co-coach Rick Wutzke, as the Barbers repeated as the 2012 AAA champions at UBC-Okanagan.

The Barbers defeating the Kelowna Owls in three straight sets of the final on Saturday (Dec. 1), finishing the provincial tournament undefeated despite going in ranked third.

“We lost some games this year but I’m not surprised (we are B.C. champs),” Wutzke said. “Eight of the 12 Barbers are from the same group from Lansdowne middle school that won the national club championship in their Grade 8 year.

“It’s been a fun ride with these guys, it’s quite the talented group.”

For the Barbers, it’s the second straight B.C. title and the third in seven years, having won it in 2006.

This year may have started different, but it ended the same.

“We told the guys, you have to remember everybody wants to knock us off; as soon as you let your guard down they’re ready to jump on you,” Wutzke said.

That’s been the mentality from the outset this year, as the Barbers entered every gym wearing a target, the talk of the province.

The key was finding a way to replace the graduated stars from the 2011 team such as 6-foot-6 Alex Swiatlowksi to the UBC-Okanagan Heat, Ryan Marcellus to the Camosun Chargers and Nick Stefanakis to the VIU Mariners.

That was done with 6-foot-7 middle Graeme Prendergast (Grade 12), and the continued growth of players such as Dan Phillips, Sawyer Stein and Talon Rimmer.

They all supported the team’s big three of setter Leon Young, power hitters Elion Wong and Lars Bornemann, who was named the most outstanding player of the provincial tournament for the second-straight year.

Though the 2012 Barbers weren’t able to run undefeated through the tournament and regular season as they did in 2011, they were just as good.

“We lost about four games along the way, at crucial times,” Wutzke said, “spots where we shouldn’t have lost but we did, but it’s all character building.”

By crucial, Wutzke is referring to the Barbers getting knocked out of the UBC and Thompson Rivers tournaments early this season.

The route to the provincial final saw Oak Bay defeat Island rivals Dover Bay in Game 1 of the playoffs on Thursday, Elgin Park in the quarterfinals on Friday morning and, Moscrop in the semifinals on Friday night.

It set up a rubber match final between the Barbers and Kelowna Owls, with each having defeated each other once in previous meetings this season.

Oak Bay won in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-22.

The Lansdowne pipeline

Wutzke, a retired teacher who co-coaches the Barbers with Oak Bay science teacher Al Carmichael, has brought many players through the Lansdowne pipeline, and there’s another crew coming to the Barbers, led by budding Grade 10 star Kyle Borden.

It’s where Young, Wong and Bornemann all came from.

“Six of the guys on the junior team that won the B.C. Summer Games last year (U15) and were second in the club provincials will be Barbers,” Wutzke said.

Barbers Noah Harris, Kieran Atkinson, Chris Dzoiba and Isaac Walters were also key members of the 2012 championship.

sports@vicnews.com

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

Just Posted

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

Government Street becomes pedestrian-priority corridor

One block of downtown street closed to cars entirely

‘The face of Belmont’: Custodial staff at Langford school pivot to support parents, students

Staff serve as point of contact for parents, students with school

Saanich property tax notices in the mail, residents unable to pay in person

Payment options, late penalties adjusted due to COVID-19

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Most Read