One of the most popular high-school volleyball tournaments in the area is set to hit the court in South Surrey next weekend, as Semiahmoo prepares to host the annual Peace Arch News Classic.
The senior girls tournament is set for Oct. 21-22, and will feature 18 teams this year – up two from last year’s field of 16. Of the 18 squads set to take part, most are from Surrey, including a handful of South Surrey teams: the host Semiahmoo Thunderbirds, Grandview Heights Grizzlies and Elgin Park Orcas.
Other Surrey schools on the docket include Salish Secondary, Fleetwood Park, Sullivan Heights, Guildford Park, Kwantlen Park, North Surrey and Panorama Ridge.
A handful of highly-ranked teams will also be in attendance – Richmond’s R.A. McMath Wildcats (who are the No. 2-ranked triple-A team in B.C.); Victoria’s Mount Douglas Rams (No. 8) and the South Delta Sun Devils, who are the No. 1-ranked team in quad-A rankings.
The Sun Devils are also the defending PAN Classic champions, having won last year’s tournament. They defeated Langley’s R.E. Mountain Secondary in the final game.
The 2021 event marked the return of the tournament – which has been staged on the Semiahmoo Peninsula since the late 1980s – after the ’20 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2019 event was won by the Mission Roadrunners, who defeated Semiahmoo in the gold-medal game.
This year’s tournament will take place entirely at Semiahmoo Secondary – in previous years, when the field has been larger, games have also been held at multiple South Surrey high schools – with the action starting at noon Friday (Oct. 21). Games will be played throughout the day, ending after 9 p.m.
On Saturday, playoff rounds begin at 9 a.m., and the championship match is set for 5:45 p.m. on Semiahmoo’s Court 1.