The Central Cyclones senior boys volleyball team claimed their first city championship since 2016 Wednesday night, beating Assiniboia in three straight sets (25-15, 25-13, 25-19) at the Sask Polytech gym.
"I think we came out really strong," said Cyclones head coach Madi Macfie. "I was really trying to make sure that they were forcing the energy from point one and I think they did achieve that. It was really good to see all their hard work paying off all season long."
She commented on the significance of bringing the Moose Jaw High Schools Athletic Association (MJHSAA) senior boys volleyball championship back to Central after a seven-year absence.
"It means a lot to us. We've been wanting to have that all season long. That's been our goal. It was really good that we achieved that and brought it back to Central. We're looking forward to regionals this weekend and provincials as well coming up."
The future looks bright for the team, which is made up of a lot of a lot of grade 11 students with some grade 12 and 10 students sprinkled in as well.
Cyclones captain Josef Yee commented on Wednesday night's championship-clinching game.
"It was a pretty good game. Lots of fun, lots of excitement in the crowd today," he said. "I think we were expecting more of a fight but I think we're playing really well."
He notes the team started off the season pretty rusty but was able to improve with practice throughout the season.
Despite the loss, Assiniboia Rockets head coach Matthew Lothian was pleased with his team's performance.
"Central played very well. We battled each other all season long. We were down a little bit tonight with our main grade 12 setter being sidelined with an ankle injury but that doesn't take away from Central's win. They played good and they came out flying and we did not. Congrats to Central."
Both Assiniboia and Central finished the regular season with a 6-1 record, splitting their head-to-head meetings. The Rockets finished the regular season in first place by points differential.
Lothian said it was the team's goal to make it back to the final this year after competing for the championship last season, falling in three straight sets to the Vanier Vikings. Vanier had won the city championship in the past four seasons.
Both Central and Assiniboia will compete in regional playdowns this weekend. Central is one of three Moose Jaw teams competing in the 4A regional tournament in Lumsden joining Peacock and Vanier. Assiniboia is hosting the 3A regional tournament. The Rockets won the provincial title last season.
The top three teams will move on to provincials.
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