Wildcats, Rams advance to volleyball provincials

Emerson McAuley (No. 14) of the Stonewall Collegiate Institute Rams junior varsity girls' volleyball team sets the ball with her teammate Maddie McRae (No. 9) looking on. The Rams won the West Winnipeg Athletic Conference's Tier 2 banner with a 25-18, 25-11, 25-14 win over the Shaftesbury Titans from Winnipeg in the final at SCI in Stonewall, MB on Nov. 14, 2019. (Adam Peleshaty/The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times/Postmedia Network)

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The Warren Collegiate Institute Wildcats completed a four-banner sweep of the Zone 5 AA volleyball championships, while both them and the Stonewall Collegiate Institute Rams have qualified teams for their respective high school volleyball provincial championships.

The Wildcats captured both the Zone 5 A/AA junior varsity boys’ and girls’ volleyball banners on Nov. 14. Warren recovered from a 23-16 deficit against the Arborg Collegiate Athletics before winning the boys’ final 25-23, 25-21 at Gimli High School. Meanwhile, at Dr. George Johnson Middle School, the provincially seventh-ranked Wildcats won 25-12, 25-17 against the unranked Riverton Patriots. Both teams will compete at the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association A/AA Junior Varsity Volleyball Championships in Île-des-Chênes from Nov. 21 to 23.

Both of Warren’s varsity boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams won their respective Zone 5 AA banners at WCI and Woodlands School, respectively, the week before.

Despite the Wildcats’ dominance, their JV boys coach Mark Hnatuk believes Zone 5 is getting stronger.

“In years past, it’s maybe one or two teams that’s up there,” he told The Stonewall Argus and Teulon Times. “There are potentially four or five teams there that can go either way. It depends on which kids show up.”

Provincial qualifiers

The Wildcats’ varsity boys’ and girls’ volleyball squads earned their berths to provincials at qualifying tournaments on Nov. 16.

Warren’s varsity girls, ranked first in the province, went 2-0 in pool play to clinch a spot in provincials and added a 25-23, 25-8 win over the Minnedosa Chancellors in the final at WCI. The Wildcats varsity boys’ team was 2-1 in pool play and clinched its berth with a 25-22, 25-20 win over the Niverville Panthers in the semifinal. Warren then lost 25-12, 25-17 to the host Elton Sabres in the final. The MHSAA AA Varsity Boys Provincial Volleyball Championship will be played in Killarney, while the AA varsity girls’ provincials will be contested in Boissevain from Nov. 28 to 30.

With the winner getting a berth to provincials, the Gimli Lakers varsity boys’ team lost 29-27, 25-19 to the Goose Lake Raiders in Île-des-Chênes.

The Teulon Collegiate Saints varsity boys’ team went 0-3 at its provincial qualifier in Grunthal, while the Fisher Branch Collegiate Cougars varsity girls’ team and the Morweena Christian School Raptors also went winless at its A provincial qualifiers in Strathclair and Rosenort, respectively.

Stonewall Rams

Both the SCI Rams junior varsity girls’ and varsity boys’ volleyball teams will compete in provincials after defeating the St. James Jimmies and John Taylor Pipers in provincial qualifying games earlier this month. The scores for those games were unavailable at press time.

The JV girls’ squad will play in the MHSAA AAA Junior Varsity Girls Volleyball Championship at Linden Christian School in Winnipeg from Nov. 21 to 23 and the varsity boys’ team will compete in the MHSAA AAA Varsity Boys Volleyball Championship at Collège Louis-Riel in Winnipeg from Nov. 28 to 30.

Later on, three of the Rams’ volleyball teams had an opportunity to win the West Winnipeg Athletic Conference Tier 2 titles on home court with two accomplishing the feat. SCI’s JV girls squad, ranked seventh among AAA schools in the province, captured the banner against the Shaftesbury Titans with a 25-18, 25-11, 25-14 victory at Stonewall Collegiate on Nov. 14. The Rams’ JV boys’ team also defeated the Titans for the WWAC banner, winning 25-17, 25-18, 20-25, 25-18, also at SCI on Nov. 14.

The Titans did not leave Stonewall empty-handed as they defeated the Rams for the Tier 2 varsity boys banner 25-15, 25-17, 25-18 at SCI on Nov. 14.

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