The Earl Marriott Mariners are headed to the BC High School Senior Boys AAA Volleyball Championships, though they’ll be going in as a lower seed than they’re used to.
For the past two years, Marriott’s senior boys have qualified for provincials after winning the Fraser Valley tournament, and entered the B.C. showdown as one of the top seeds. In each case, they also left as provincial champions.
But things will be different next month, when provincials hit the court at the Langley Events Centre, after the Mariners were bounced by the Fraser Heights Firehawks in Fraser Valley semifinals Tuesday evening.
Incidentally, it was the Firehawks whom the Mariners defeated in last year’s Valley final.
The highest the Mariners can finish this week is third; the team was set to play Riverside Wednesday, with the bronze-medal match set for Thursday evening after press deadline.
The Mariners had a first-round bye, but three other Surrey schools – Elgin Park, Semiahmoo and Surrey Christian – did not.
Elgin Park opened the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Port Moody on Monday, before losing to EMS.
In their next game, Elgin lost to Surrey Christian, who themselves had been knocked to the consolation side of the bracket after falling to Semiahmoo in their first-round matchup.
Semiahmoo defeated Surrey Christian, but saw their run stopped in quarter-finals, after a loss to Delta.
Six Valley squads will qualify for provincials, and the Mariners have already earned their spot there by virtue of a win over Elgin Park in quarter-finals Monday.
The Fraser Valley senior girls quad-A volleyball championships tipped off Wednesday afternoon, with a handful of local teams in contention.
Elgin Park won a wild-card game Monday against Chilliwack in order to enter the main draw as the No. 8 seed; they faced off against Walnut Grove in the first round Wednesday.
Two other squads, Lord Tweedsmuir and Earl Marriott, also tipped off late Wednesday in quarter-finals; both teams had earned first-round byes as a top-four seed.
The final is set for Saturday, 8 p.m. at South Delta Secondary.