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  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

    Lancers run into great Wall

    Collectively and emphatically, the River East Kodiaks say 35 years is long enough.

     

    The Kodiaks, showing the steely resolve of a squad whose time has come, hammered the Dakota Lancers in straight sets Thursday night to advance to the Manitoba AAAA high school boys volleyball championship.

     

    River East hasn’t won the title since 1982.

     

    Guided by their undisputed leader, exceptionally skilled Grade 12 athlete Hudson Wall, the No. 2-ranked Kodiaks knocked off the third-seeded Lancers 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-22) at Investors Group Athletic Centre (IGAC) to book a spot in the Manitoba championship next week.

     

    The Kodiaks meet the No. 1-ranked and defending champion Lord Selkirk Royals in the Manitoba final, scheduled for Monday at 8 p.m. at IGAC.

     

    Lord Selkirk defeated the fourth-ranked St. Paul’s Crusaders 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22) in the Thursday’s late semifinal match.

     

    Click here for the full story from the Winnipeg Free Press.

     

  • Chris Procaylo/Winnipeg Sun/Postmedia Network)

    Driven to be No. 1

    He was 12 years old, and it was love at first sight.

     

    “Basically the first time I touched a volleyball I loved the game,” Nigel Nielsen said going into the provincial high school volleyball Final Four. “Ever since then it’s been my No. 1 priority over any other sport.”

     

    This week, the Lord Selkirk Royals outside hitter was named the No. 1 boys player in Manitoba in the Winnipeg Sun’s annual coaches poll.

     

    Nielsen will lead the defending champion Royals into Thursday’s semifinal against St. Paul’s as focused as he’s ever been.

     

    Click here for the full story from the Winnipeg Sun.

     

  • Kevin King/Winnipeg Sun/Postmedia Network

    Portage and Collège Jeanne-Sauvé heading to provincial girls volleyball final

    Facing a two-set deficit to the second-ranked Lord Selkirk Royals, it looked like the third-ranked Portage Collegiate Saints’ march to the provincial high school girls’ volleyball title was about to come to an end.

     

    The two rural schools battled it out on Wednesday night at the Investors Group Athletic Centre in semi-final action, with Portage coming from behind to win 3-2 (20-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-7) to punch their ticket to the provincial championship game.

     

     

    Click here for the full story from the Winnipeg Sun.

     

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

    Fighting for every point

    Facing a two-set deficit to a higher-ranked team, it would have been easy for Portage Collegiate to conclude this simply wasn’t their night and wrap up their season.

     

    But the underdog Saints came marching back Wednesday, punching their ticket to the girls AAAA provincial high school volleyball final in stunning fashion. The No. 3 squad rallied to beat No. 2 Lord Selkirk Royals 20-25, 18-25, 25-22, 25-21, 15-8.

     

    Volleyball is quite a momentum game. We had the momentum, we were passing a lot better, we were serving so much tougher than we were in the first two sets," said Portage libero Justice Bryson, named her team’s player of the game.

     

    They’ll face one more major challenge in the form of the the top-ranked Collège Jeanne-Sauvé Olympiens, who got by No. 5 Mennonite Brethren Hawks 25-13, 26-24, 23-25, 25-15. The final is set for Monday at 6 p.m. at the University of Manitoba’s Investors Group Athletic Centre.

     

     

    Click here for the full story from the Winnipeg Free Press.

     

  • 'Every coach's dream'

    Jayda Nault would have preferred to be chowing down some pizza at the news conference promoting the high school volleyball Final Four, Tuesday.

     

    But with her team, Westwood Collegiate, eliminated in the AAAA quarter-final, she settled for talking to one reporter about being named the top player in the Winnipeg Sun‘s annual coaches poll.

     

    Click here for the full story from the Winnipeg Sun.