Teams from the Moose Jaw High Schools Athletic Association boys volleyball league are no strangers to qualifying for provincial championships.
But even they had to be impressed with how things went for local crews at the regional playdowns this past weekend.
Of the four teams that qualified for their respective provincial tournaments, three won their regional outright and the fourth was only prevented from doing so by another Moose Jaw team winning.
As a result, there will be no shortage of local representation when provincials begin across the province on Friday, Nov. 24.
The reigning city champion Central Cyclones emerged as the top seed out of the 4A boys regional tournament in Lumsden, posting an undefeated record out of the five-team round robin -- and facing many a familiar foe in the process.
The Cyclones opened with a 25-9, 25-15 win over the Peacock Toilers before sweeping the Lumsden Lions 25-14, 25-14 and downing the Vanier Vikings 25-11, 25-23 to essentially lock up top spot. Central then capped their weekend of sweeps with a 25-19, 25-21 victory over Regina Johnson.
Vanier emerged as the third qualifier after going 2-2. They fell 25-21, 19-25, 15-13 to Lumsden in their opener but swept Regina Johnson 25-14, 25-15 to remain in contention. The Vikings’ loss to Central made their final game against Peacock a must win, and they’d take a 25-17, 25-23 victory.
The Toilers didn’t have a lot of luck on their side, with a 25-14, 25-22 win over Johnson giving the local squad a shot at qualifying, but a 25-21, 21-25, 15-7 loss in their final game would bring their season to an end.
Central and Vanier will now be off to the 4A boys provincials in Melfort.
The league finalist Assiniboia Rockets appear to be following the exact same path that took them to the 3A boys provincial title last season.
After losing a three-set heartbreaker to Central in the city final -- with Vanier doing the same to the Rockets last season -- Assiniboia rebounded with an absolutely commanding run through their region.
Only three times in six matches did opponents reach the 20-point mark in a set, as Assiniboia defeated Biggar 25-14, 25-8, had their closest match of the weekend in a 25-15, 25-21 win over Clavet, rolled past Shaunavon 25-14, 25-7 and finished the round robin with a 25-10, 25-21 win over Unity.
With their provincial spot booked, the playoffs were much of the same: a 25-14, 25-7 win over Shaunavon followed by a 25-10, 25-21 win against Unity to land the regional title.
Assiniboia will now have a chance to repeat as provincial champs when provincials begin Friday in Unity.
The Cornerstone Christian School Falcons found themselves in a few outright wars on their way to winning their 2A boys regional in Ponteix.
The Falcons kicked things off with a 25-22, 23-25, 15-12 win over Lucky Lake and followed up by getting past Kincaid 25-22, 26-24. Their easiest match of the weekend came in the semifinal when they took a 25-18, 25-15 win over Outlook LCBI, but things were far different in the final, as they’d fight to a 25-14, 31-29 win over Ponteix.
Cornerstone will be right back in Ponteix for the provincial championship beginning Friday.
You can find all the scores from the weekend at www.shsaaa,ca, and be sure to check their site Monday afternoon for all the boys provincial draws.