Westpark takes first Zone 4 title
The Westpark Royals varsity boy's volleyball team won the Zone 4A championship in three straight sets Thursday in Portage la Prairie. The boys will head to regionals November 18. (Aaron Wilgosh/The Graphic)
This time it was a lock.
The Westpark Royals varsity boy's volleyball team are Manitoba High School Athletic Association Zone 4A champions thanks to a clean sweep of St. Paul's Collegiate Barons at Westpark School Thursday night in Portage.
“The guys were committed right from day one in September,” says head coach of the Royals, Merrill Friesen. “(Thursday) we achieved one of our goals by winning the zone championship. These boys wanted a shot at regionals for the right to go for provincials and that's our next step.”
Westpark took out the Barons 25-19, 28-26 and 25-19 in front of a large – and loud – home crowd to win their first-ever varsity boys zone title. The Royals ended up falling in last year's zone championship, making it even sweeter for the returning players. Friesen says it was a redemption victory after losing to the Barons in five sets earlier this season. He adds it's a big year considering the bulk of their roster is made up of Grade 12 players.
“Even the Grade 11 boys are looking at it like their varsity year because we don't have a lot of young guys coming up into volleyball,” says Friesen. “The Grade nine and ten players are more into basketball so we want to give it all we've got this year.”
Westpark will now head to regionals where they'll be guaranteed a spot because of their zone victory but it's not certain who they'll be going up against.
“Teams are split up by rankings and there will be four regional tournaments with four teams in each and top two advances to provincials,” adds Friesen. “The ninth and tenth teams don't have to do regionals because they'll be the hosts and the northern team.”
Regionals are set for November 18, but the location has yet to be determined.