All three Central Okanagan teams performed as expected and went undefeated on the first day of their respective B.C. Girls High School Volleyball Association championships.
The Kelowna Owls, attempting to repeat as provincial 4A division champions, finished first in their four-team pool with three straight wins on Thursday in Port Coquitlam.
In Nelson, the defending 1A champion Kelowna Christian School Knights also swept their opening three matches in pool play, while the Immaculata Mustangs breezed to first place in their pool with a trio of victories.
The Owls, ranked No. 2 going into the 16-team at Riverside Secondary School, started the day slowly, taking three sets to get by No. 15 Oak Bay 25-20, 23-25, 15-6. They gained momentum however, taking the 10th seed Argyle Pipers of North Vancouver 25-18, 25-21 and the No. 7 McMath Wildcats of Richmond 25-14, 25-21.
Their first-place finish in pool play earned the Owls a first-round playoff match today against the Burnaby Burnaby South Rebels, who went into the provincial event ranked 11th and finished fourth in pool play on Thursday.
The winner of the Kelowna-Burnaby South match will advance to quarter-final play this afternoon against either No. 5 Charles Best of Coquitlam or No. 8 G.P. Vanier of Courtenay.
Semifinal play is set for Saturday morning, with the gold-medal match scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Meanwhile at Selkirk College in Nelson, the No. 1-ranked KCS Knights clinched first place in pool play in convincing fashion.
They defeated No. 16 Chetwynd 25-16, 25-16 and No. 9 Glenlyon Norfolk of Victoria 25-7, 25-8, before downing hometown Selkirk (No. 8) 25-8, 25-6.
In the first round of the playoffs today, the Knights will go up against either Carver Christian of Burnaby or Salmo, who were ranked 12th and 13th respectively prior to the tournament.
An expected victory would put the Knights into quarter-final play this afternoon.
Immaculata, ranked No. 2 at provincials, also swept their three pool matches at L.V. Rogers Secondary School. They too gained momentum as the opening day wore on.
They started with a 25-19, 25-15 victory over No. 15 Fernie, defeated Ebenezer of Smithers 25-15, 25-11 and played their best match of the day to down No. 7-ranked Duncan Christian 25-21, 25-14.
The Mustangs were expected to meet No. 11 Similkameen Sparks of Keremeos in the first round of the playoffs this morning with hopes of advancing to quarter-final play this afternoon.
The semifinals will be played Saturday morning and the championship match at 7 p.m. on Saturday.