It had to end some time and on Saturday the St. Mary Marauders’ rein as Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association senior boy’s provincial volleyball champions ground to a halt.
The Marauders, who were three-time defending champions, lost in straight sets – 25-20, 25-16 – to Regina Campbell in the semifinals, but they did return home with a medal after they swept Meadow Lake 25-18, 25-22 in the bronze-medal game.
“We didn’t get off to a great start, but in the end we played arguably some of our best volleyball of the season,” said Marauders’ coach Dale Regel. “Campbell was just that much better.”
St. Mary posted just a 5-4 mark in preliminary round-robin games, including another straight-set defeat to Regina Campbell, but they rebounded to outslug St. Joseph’s from Saskatoon 25-19, 19-25, 25-14 in quarter-final action. That set up the rematch with Campbell, but there was to be no fourth straight title and Campbell went on to claim that honour with a 25-19, 25-17 decision over Moose Jaw Central in the gold-medal contest.
At the senior girl’s provincials in Prince Albert, both the host St. Mary Marauders and Carlton Crusaders reached the quarter-finals before bowing out to Saskatoon opponents.
St. Mary finished fourth in their pool after posting a 4-6 record in preliminary round-robin action while Carlton was third in their group with a 5-5 ledger.
St. Mary then faced Marion Graham in the quarter-finals and despite a strong effort, they were ousted by scores of 25-20, 25-20. Carlton, which had one of the youngest teams in the 10-team field, met Holy Cross in the quarter-finals and again it was another solid performance, but the season came to an end for the Crusaders when they were defeated 25-22, 25-20.
Holy Cross went on to win the provincial title with a 25-22, 25-19 verdict over Balgonie while Marion Graham claimed the bronze medal following a 21-25, 26-24, 25-11 decision over Regina Campbell.
One other provincial volleyball event was held in Prince Albert on the weekend when the Prairie Athletic Conference titles for both men and women were contested at Woodland Campus.
Palliser Institute from Moose Jaw won the men’s championship with a 25-21, 22-25, 18-25, 25-16, 15-6 verdict over Millar College from Pambrun while Bethany College from Hepburn topped the women’s field with a 25-20, 25-20, 24-26, 25-16 decision over Kelsey Institute from Saskatoon.
The Woodland teams had mixed results with the men’s squad finishing third after beating Great Plains College from Swift Current in the playoffs while the women’s teams was last in their field after losing to Great Plains in the fifth-place playoff contest.
At the awards banquet on Saturday, the Woodland men’s team was presented with the team sportsmanship award while Geoff Peet and Emile Perreault were named to the all-star team.