SWAC volleyball teams advance in Provincial playoffs

The Frontier Raiders won their 1A Boys conference tournament in Ponteix. SUBMITTED PHOTO

It was an exciting Saturday for SWAC senior volleyball teams. We had six girls’ teams at SHSAA Regional competitions, all looking to advance to their SHSAA provincial championships. Unlike juniors, the playoffs for senior girls and boys run on different weekends, eight of our boys’ volleyball teams were at the first stage of provincial playoffs this weekend, SHSAA conferences.

All SWAC’s 1A boys’ teams were in Ponteix. They played a round robin format with no playoffs. Frontier came away with a clean record of 3-0 to win the conference. Fox Valley placed second (2-1), Vanguard finished with a 1-2 record and Ponteix was fourth (0-3). Both Frontier and Fox Valley advance to Regional competition. That location is to be determined.

Cabri boys hosted a 2A conference using Hazlet’s gym. There were five teams vying for the two regional spots. Wilkie claimed the top spot with a 4-0 record. The second qualifier was not known until the last match of the day. Two of our SWAC teams (Leader and Cabri) were in a three-way tie for the second regional spot, along with Cut Knife.   Those three teams had identical 2-2 records. Once the tie break was applied, Leader was awarded the trip to Regionals (Cut Knife finished third and Cabri fourth). This regional will take place in the NorthWest district.

Shaunavon Shadows are a 3A boys volleyball team. There were in Kipling for a five team round robin conference championship.  Shaunavon finished second with a 3-1 record (their only loss coming from a strong Kipling team). The Shadows had wins over Caronport, Fort Qu’Appelle and Assiniboia.  Shaunavon is the host site for a six team Regional championship on Saturday, Nov. 16. The top two teams from that tournament advance to provincials.

SCCHS 5A Colts took part in a Regional competition in Yorkton (there are no conference championships for the 5A classification). This regional was very competitive.  The Colts had wins over Estevan, Weyburn, Yorkton and their only loss came from Balgonie. After the round robin was done, Swift was tied with Balgonie for the top spot with identical 3-1 records. Because Balgonie had defeated the Colts, they were the Regional Champions.  The Colts will be at SHSAA Provincials in Regina on Nov. 15-16.

Our SWAC girls had strong showings at SHSAA conference tournaments around the province. We had four teams at the 1A conference in Rouleau (Consul, Vanguard, Fox Valley and Leader). Consul played very well but was on the losing end of two close matches and didn’t advance to the playoff round. Vanguard finished first in Pool A (2-0 record) and took on Rouleau (second in Pool B) in one semifinal. It took three sets, but Vanguard won and punched their ticket to provincials by making it to the Regional finals.  Leader had a 2-0 record and placed first in Pool B. They played Fox Valley (Pool A 2nd) in the other semifinal. This was another nail-biter, with Fox Valley coming out on top with a 2-1 win. In the championship final, Fox Valley avenged an earlier loss, to Vanguard in the round robin, and won the Regional Championship 2-0. Leader still had one more chance because, in this conference tournament, three teams advance to Provincials. Leader took on hometown Rouleau in the 3rd place match and won decisively (2-0) and are also headed to provincials in Muenster. This is the first time that we’ve sent three teams from girls 1A to the same Provincials. History in the making!

Vanguard placed second at 1A Girls Volleyball Regionals in Rouleau.

Shaunavon was our lone 2A girls’ team at conferences in Saskatoon. They were second in their pool after the round robin. That meant they had to cross over to play top ranked LCBI in the semifinals. The Silhouettes played a terrific match but lost a heartbreaker in the third set and did not advance.

The SCCHS Ardens were in Estevan for their Regionals for a five team round robin tournament. The Ardens had wins over Estevan, Weyburn and Yorkton. Those wins secured a provincial berth, but the Regional title was still on the line. Swift Current came up against Balgonie to determine the regional champion. This was a terrific match that went to three sets. The Ardens fought hard but dropped the third set 15-11. They will be attending Provincials in Weyburn on Nov. 15-16.

Good Luck to our SWAC girls’ teams at SHSAA Provincials on November 15 and 16:  SCCHS Ardens, Fox Valley Legends, Vanguard Valkyrs, Leader Saints. Good Luck also to the SCCHS Colts at the 5A boys’ provincials.

With all the snow on the ground, it reminds us that SWAC winter sport activities soon will be filling our calendars. Curling practices have already begun in some schools, and basketball/wrestling can start next Monday, Nov 18.  SWAC has a basketball referee clinic scheduled for Wednesday, December 4th at 6:30 p.m.at SCCHS. Contact your school for more information.

The Chinook School Division Sports Report is submitted by Valerie Gordon.