By Gary Ahuja (Special to VarsityLetters.ca)
LANGLEY —A dozen teams’ dreams of a championship banner are still alive at the 2018 Kahunaverse Sports B.C. Senior Boys Volleyball Championships.
The AA draw is down to its Final Four while the AAA teams have been whittled down from 20 to eight as the four-day tournament reached its midway mark Thursday at the Langley Events Centre.
The top six seeds, and eight of the top nine, have advanced to Friday’s quarter-final round, which kicks off on Friday with games at 9 and 11 a.m.
The top half of the draw, Surrey’s No. 1 Earl Marriott Mariners will clash with Kelowna’s No. 8 Mt. Boucherie Bears, while the No. 3 Claremont Spartans of Victoria will face North Vancouver’s No. 9 Argyle Pipers.
On the bottom half of the draw, the No. 2 Van Tech Talismen face the No. 6 Mt. Baker Wild of Cranbrook, while Burnaby’s No. 4 Moscrop Panthers face Victoria’s No. 5 Oak Bay Barbers.
The winners will then prep for the evening’s dual 7:30 p.m. semifinals.
In a pair of 5:30 p.m. semifinals, it’s the two-time defending-champion Langley Christian Lightning facing the Abbotsford Christian Knights, while Prince George’s College Heights Cougars and Lake Country’s George Elliot Coyotes battle in the other.
On Thursday, Abby Christian needed five sets but prevailed 3-2 (22-25,25-16,19-25,25-16,15-12) over their crosstown rival MEI Eagles in the quarter-finals, winning the final two sets after falling behind 2-1. The victory was also a measure of revenge for the Knights as they avenged a loss to the Eagles in the Fraser Valley semifinals earlier this month.
In the other quarter-final in that quadrant, Langley Christian made quick work of Prince George’s Kelly Road Roadrunners 3-0 (25-8,25-12,25-16) to keep their three-peat quest alive.
The Langley Christian-Abby Christian tilt is also a repeat of last year’s province title game.
George Elliot has been the province’s top team for much of the season and the ‘Yotes shook off a loss in their first match on Wednesday to Langley Christian to win their next four, all without dropping a set.
The Coyotes won 3-0 (25-12,25-19,25-15) and now face College Heights in the other semifinal.
The Cougars were seeded second for provincials and they earned a spot in the final four with a 3-1 (25-19,25-11,23-25,25-22) win over the Surrey Christian Falcons.