For the second year in a row, the Fraser Heights Firehawks' title dreams crashed to the ground in the semifinals of the senior boys AAA volleyball championship tournament in Kelowna.
Ranked No. 1 in the province all season, the Firehawks had to console themselves with the bronze medal after being upset by the host Kelowna Owls in the penultimate round of the tourney.
"I did not want to bring that trophy back here," Fraser Heights coach James Ahn joked of the reward for third place.
"I returned it (before the provincials) and told them I didn't want it back, but now it looks like it's ours again."
The Firehawks got off to a slow start in the Okanagan where they dropped matches to Kelowna and Oak Bay and wound up third in the power pool standings.
When play began for real, the Firehawks quickly dispatched Magee and Eric Hamber in straight sets to advance to the semifinals.
The Firehawks' season unraveled against Kelowna where sloppy play by Fraser Heights combined with a tough Owls defence led to a four-set loss.
"It's unfortunate because we worked hard for three years to get to the point where we could win a provincial championship, but we just did not play our best that night," Ahn said.
"Give credit to Kelowna; they played really well. They had clearly done their homework and they were ready for us. Even so, I wouldn't be so upset if we played a good game and we lost, but we made so many mistakes that it was more like we lost it than they won it. I think the guys were excited and ready to play, we just didn't come together and play the way we can as a team."
The Firehawks showed their character by gutting out a tough, five-set win over Moscrop Saturday in the third place game. Oak Bay defeated Kelowna in Saturday's title game.
The Firehawks' Irvan Brar was named to the first all-star team while William Dichuck and Vadim Chernenko were second team selections. Josiah Ahn was an honourable mention.
Middle blocker Dusan Vlahovic also played well for Fraser Heights in Kelowna.
The Earl Marriott Mariners finished fifth overall in the AAA provincials. Chris Wilson was a second team all-star while teammate Braden Thain made the honourable mention list.