Thirty-six boys volleyball teams hit the court this morning in the quest for a pair of blue banners up for grabs as the Kahunaverse Sports BC Volleyball Championship get underway at Langley Events Centre.
There is guaranteed to be a new champion from the AAA ranks as the Semiahmoo Totems did not earn a spot in the 20-team draw while the Langley Christian Lightning look for a third consecutive championship banner in the 16-team AA draw.
In their first game, the Lightning won a best-of-three set against George Eillot 25-16, 18-25 and 15-13.
The Lightning’s are seeded third for the championships, with the George Elliot Coyotes (Lake Country) at No. 1, the College Heights Cougars (Prince George) No. 2 and the MEI Eagles (Abbotsford) No. 4.
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The Coyotes have been seeded No. 1 in the province for most of the season while the Cougars finished fourth at provincials last year and second the year prior. Last year ended a phenomenal run for the perennial powerhouse MEI program, which failed to make the podium for the first time since 2001, a run which included 10 provincial titles and another five bronze medals.
The Coyotes and Cougars won the Okanagan and North Central zones, respectively, and they look to become the first non-Fraser Valley team to win the AA provincial title since 2010.
In the AAA draw, the Earl Marriott Mariners – who lost just once all season – look to make it wire-to-wire ranked No. 1.
The fact the Mariners are a favourite for the blue banner shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering last year’s senior squad won bronze at provincials and the returnees from that team were joined by the nucleus of the Earl Marriott junior program which went undefeated last season.
Rounding out the top four in the 20-team draw are the Van Tech Talismen, Claremont Spartans and Moscrop Panthers. The Talismen and Panthers finished one-two respectively, at the Lower Mainland championships, while the Spartans come in as the Vancouver Island champions.
The games begin at 9:30 a.m. today (Wednesday, November 28) with the playoff round beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. Thursday also features a Spike Competition presented by Mizuno at 7:30 p.m.
The AAA quarter-finals are set for Friday at 9 a.m. with the semifinals that same night at 7:30 p.m.
The AA quarter-finals are Thursday at 5 p.m. and the semifinals are Friday at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday features the bronze medal games at noon and 2 p.m. with the gold-medal contests to follow at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
More online at: www.bchighschoolboysvolleyball.com