SCCHS Colts & Ardens
** Colts coach Dan Andrie announced via Twitter that tonight's match has been cancelled due to poor travel conditions. Saturday's action remains on schedule for now. **
Swift Current will play host to some of the top high school boys volleyball teams this weekend when the Comp. Colts host the SHSAA 5A South Regional Championships.
Seven teams will be in Swift Current as they compete for the top three spots in order to qualify for the Provincials Championships in Prince Albert the following weekend.
Teams from Yorkton, Estevan, Weyburn, and Moose Jaw will all be in Swift Current as they look to extend their seasons for one extra week.
The Provincial Finals will consist of eight teams, three from the South, three from the North, two from Regina, and two from Saskatoon.
Action begins Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. The playoffs will begin Saturday at 2:30 p.m. with the semifinal slated for 4 p.m. and the Regional Final to follow at 5:30 p.m.
The Colts will begin their quest for a return trip to Provincials on Friday at 7 p.m. against Moose Jaw Vanier.
They will also play Saturday against Yorkton at 10 a.m. and Moose Jaw Peacock at 12 p.m.
The Colts were in Yorkton this past weekend where they were eliminated in the quarterfinals in their final tune-up prior to Regionals.
They opened the tournament Friday with straight sets wins over Roblin and Prince Albert Carlton before losing to Weyburn. Saturday, the Colts got off to a slow start and dropped both games to Yorkton.
They played well against Moose Jaw Central but dropped both sets to a team that head coach Dan Andrie considers the top team in the province.
The Colts finished the round robin tied for third in their pool but dropped to fourth after the tie breaker and were forced to face the first-ranked Prince Albert St. Mary Marauders in the quarterfinals where they were eliminated in straight sets.
“Overall we played up and down,” said Andrie. “We just have to find some consistency somewhere and be able to get our emotions in check and play at the same level at all times. When they play good they play really good. When they are off their game they can struggle to face those top teams. It is just a matter to find that consistency.”
The Colts starting right-side hitter Shawn Wiebe has sat out the past couple weekend with injury. Wiebe has been cleared to play and should be back in the line-up for Regionals.
“It will be a big boost because he provides that big power on the right side and it is just another threat that we can add to the line-up and having him back will help us out for sure too,” said Andrie.
The Colts missed Provincials last season after losing in the quarterfinals in 2010. Andrie said the goal is to advance to the Provincial Finals in Prince Albert.
“Absolutely, that is the number one goal. There are three teams that will make it and we think that we are one of those top three teams. The thing about this weekend is that there are a lot of teams that can qualify, there has been equal play throughout the year. Getting there might be a little tough but I think we have the skill and ability to do it when we are playing well so the goal is definitely to get to Provincials.”
Andrie expects Moose Jaw Central to be the favorite at Regionals and said that Yorkton and Estevan will also be among the contenders this weekend. He said that Weyburn has given them problems this season and that Moose Jaw Peacock has improved a lot this season, setting the stage for a very competitive qualifying tournament.
Andrie hopes that his veteran team will be able to get back to Provincials.
“I think there is urgency definitely with my veteran players. I think I have seven or eight grade 12 guys, most of who were on the team last year. You can definitely see that they have the passion for the game and they love to play volleyball. I think they are ready to make that step and get to Provincials and challenge. As a coach I absolutely want to make it every year, I mean I wouldn’t be doing it unless I want to have a competitive team every year. But there is definitely that urgency from the guys to get there.”
He is confident that home court will be an advantage this weekend.
“I think we do. It is just the familiarity of knowing the court that we are playing on always helps. You get a bit of a comfort level.
“I am trying to go into this weekend without any added pressure for the guys when it comes to all the parents being there and fans hopefully will come out to watch. We try not to add any extra pressure that way, hopefully we can use that to our advantage and play at an even higher level with that support behind them,” he added.