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High school boys volleyball teams set for provincial championship

Assiniboia one of pre-tournament favourites as host of 3A championship, Vanier and Central travel to Meadow Lake for 4A boys tournament
The Assiniboia Rockets -- here in action during the city final against the Vanier Vikings -- will be one of the favourites as the 3A boys provincial hosts.

Throughout the Moose Jaw High School Athletic Association boys volleyball season, the Assiniboia Rockets faced 4A and 5A schools while putting up win after win.

It all led to their crew eventually reaching the city championship before falling to Vanier Vikings, capping one of the best league campaigns for the Rockets in school history.

Now they get to play schools their own size in their home gym with a provincial championship on the line.

The Rockets are one of the top seeds heading into the SHSAA 3A boys provincial tournament in Assiniboia this weekend, having dropped only one set in five matches on their way to winning their regional playdown last weekend.

They open action in their five-team preliminary round pool against Carnduff on Friday at 12 p.m. before taking on Outlook at 2 p.m and Regina Christian at 5 p.m. to close out the first day of competition.

Assiniboia finishes the round robin against Saskatoon Christian at 10 a.m. Saturday, after which the top four teams from each pool will advance to the playoff round.

Osler VCA, Unity, Dalmeny, Esterhazy and Biggar are in action in Pool B.

The quarter-finals take place at 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, followed by the semifinals at 3 p.m., bronze medal game at 4:30 p.m. and championship game at 5:30 p.m.

The aforementioned Vanier Vikings will be joined by the Central Cyclones as Moose Jaw’s representatives at the 4A boys provincial tournament in Meadow Lake.

The Vikings went 10-0 in the regular season and swept both the semifinal and title game on their way to winning their fourth-straight city championship. They followed that run up with a tournament victory in regionals, making them one of the top seeds for provincials.

Central reached the league semifinal before falling to Assiniboia and were perfect in their regional round robin before losing in three games to Vanier in the semifinal. The Cyclones responded with a comfortable win over Lumsden in the third-place game to book their provincial berth.

As luck would have it, the two local teams are in the same pool and face each other right off the hop, playing at 12 p.m. on Friday. The Vikings continue their run against Prince Albert Collegiate at 2 p.m. and Saskatoon Marion Graham at 5 p.m., while Central faces Marion Graham at 3 p.m. and North Battleford John Paul II  at 6 p.m. in their other games Friday.

Vanier closes out their round robin 10 a.m. Saturday against North Battleford; Central faces PACI at 11 a.m.

Pool A is made up of host Meadow Lake, Melfort, Melville, La Loche and Martensville.

The playoff schedule is the same as the 3A boys -- quarters at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m., semis at 3 p.m., bronze game at 4:30 p.m. and gold game at 5:30 p.m.

Be sure to keep an eye on throughout the weekend for the latest scores and draws.

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