The Smithers Secondary School senior boys’ volleyball team went undefeated in a tournament that gave them a chance to play their zone rivals over the weekend.
The Gryphons went 4-0 at home on Saturday against zone AA and A teams.
They kicked off the tournament with a win over the Prince Rupert Rainmakers 25-8 in the first set and 25-21 in the second.
Stuart Van Horn, head coach of the Gryphons, said the team started off strong.
“The guys played really well today. This was probably the best that they’ve played,” said Van Horn.
“Right off the bat, it was our serving. We weren’t missing any serves and I think Rupert stumbled a bit in the beginning.”
The team played well offensively, but also stepped up their defence.
“They were blocking the big guys on the other team and when the balls did manage to come over they played good defence and were digging up the balls and making something out of it,” he said.
Co-captain Glyn Doyle said communication was the key to winning every game in straight sets.
“We started off not talking much at the beginning of the first game, but that picked up throughout the day,” said Doyle.
“We were talking and that led to running more plays and hitting . . . We hit the ball hard.”
The Gryphons went on to beat the Hazelton Spartans, 25-11 in the first set and 25-23 in the second; they also beat the Houston Christian School 25-18 and 25-19.
Before zones in November, Van Horn hopes to improve communication between team members on the court.
But he is still glad the team got the win against their rival zone AA team.
“[Prince Rupert] is the team we needed to see this weekend, so we have a good chance of beating them in the zones,” said Van Horn.
Co-captain Matt Fowler added the team needs to practice its serving.
The next zone tournament is in Terrace on Nov. 8 and will determine which team moves on to provincials.