The Richmond Senior Boys Volleyball League looks to be wide open this season and one of the contending coaches couldn’t be more happier about it.
Mike Yee’s Steveston-London Sharks sit 3-0 in city play and 12th in the latest provincial AAA rankings. They outlasted the McRoberts Strikers 3-2 in a terrific battle a week ago and another big match looms on Oct. 22 against unbeaten and defending champion Richmond Christian.
Yee is familiar with players on all three teams thanks to his years of work at the club level with Air Attack.
He has also volunteered on the senior girls side with his daughter Jaylen having a leading role in Richmond Christian finishing second at the provincials back in 2015.
“It's good for the sport of volleyball in Richmond to see the level of play has gone up overall,” said Yee. “You want to see the league be competitive and more teams involved.”
When it comes time for the post-season, the leading contenders will go down different paths in the new South Fraser (Richmond, Surrey, Delta) Zone based on their school size.
The Sharks will be competing at the AAA level for the largest schools and a tier that features defending champion and current No. 1 ranked Earl Marriott. However, the South Surrey school is already guaranteed a berth into the provincials as the host team. That leaves four berths up for grabs in the 11-team zone playoff tournament. Only Seaquam (8) and Fraser Heights (10) are ahead of them in the rankings and Steveston-London happened to knock off the latter at the recent Argyle Tournament in North Vancouver.
“I’m salivating and licking my chops,” added Yee. “I think we have a very good shot of being in the top four, especially since Marriott really doesn’t need to play with an automatic berth.”
The Sharks feature plenty of size including 6-foot-5 senior Jalen Johal who has been a major force so far.
Steveston-London is seeking its first city championship since winning back-to-back titles in 2013-14.