By Gary Ahuja
Langley Events Centre
LANGLEY — It’s down to the Final Four in the 2A tier while eight teams remain in the hunt for the 3A title as teams wrapped up the first two days of competition here at the 2019 B.C. Secondary School Senior Boys Volleyball Provincial Championships.
All eight top seeds advanced to the quarterfinal round, which get underway on Friday morning (9 a.m. and 11 a.m.) before the victors compete later that night in the semifinals.
On the top half of the draw, the No. 1 seed and defending champion Earl Marriott Mariners of Surrey will face Port Coquitlam’s Riverside Rapids, the No. 8 seed, while the other quarterfinal features Victoria’s No. 4 Oak Bay Barbers and the No. 7 Okanagan Mission Huskies of Kelowna.
The Mariners made quick work of the Fraser Heights FireHawks in an all-Surrey battle in the round of 16, winning 3-0 (25-15,25-12,25-20).
The Rapids dropped the first set against Abbotsford’s Yale Lions before battling back to win 3-1 (20-25,25-11,25-17,25-20).
The Barbers won 3-1 (25-23,25-23,18-25,25-19) over North Delta’s Seaquam Seahawks and now face Okanagan Mission after the Huskies won in straight sets 3-0 (25-19,25-13,25-21) over the Steveston-London Sharks.
The bottom half of the draw features the No. 3 Claremont Spartans of Victoria and North Vancouver’s No. 6 Argyle Pipers in one quarterfinal, and the No. 2 Kelowna Owls and No. 5 Eric Hamber Griffins of Vancouver in the other.
The Spartans were straight sets winners over their capital city rivals, the Reynolds Roadrunners (25-15,25-19,25-18) while the Pipers were pushed to five sets before prevailing 3-2 (25-17,25-21,11-25,21-25,15-10) over the Mt. Boucherie Bears of Kelowna.
Kelowna knocked off their fellow Okanagan-Thompson rivals from Penticton 3-0 (25-20,25-15,28-26) and the Griffins were 3-1 winners over Surrey’s Fleetwood Park Dragons 3-1 (25-18, 25-15,24-26,25-17).
Four of the top five finishers from 2018 remain in the hunt following two days of action as they prepare for Friday’s semifinals, both of which begin at 3 p.m.
The four remaining teams are also this year’s top four seeds with the No. 1 Langley Christian up against Lake Country’s No. 4 George Elliot Coyotes in one semifinal and the No. 2-ranked MEI Eagles versus the No. 3 Abbotsford Christian Knights in an all-Abbotsford battle
The Knights won the title in 2018 over the Coyotes while the Lightning took bronze and MEI was fifth.
In Thursday’s quarter-final round, MEI was a 3-0 (25-22,25-16,25-21) winner over the Surrey Christian Falcons while Abbotsford Christian also won 3-0 (27-25,25-21,25-19) over Victoria’s Pacific Christian Pacers.
Langley Christian defeated Surrey’s Pacific Academy Breakers 3-0 (25-20,25-18,25-19) and George Elliot needed four sets but prevailed 3-1 (25-19,18-25,25-23,25-14) over the Prince George’s College Heights Cougars.
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