In a day full of fast and furious action, the St. Francis Sentinels proved to be the fastest and most furious.
St. Francis finished off a terrific tournament for themselves by sweeping the Riverview Royals (Rainy River) in the best-of-three final of the Grade 8 boys’ volleyball tournament held Saturday at Crossroads School in Devlin.
St. Francis had cruised to a tournament title the previous weekend in Atikokan—and looked every part the champion for most of the day in Devlin.
The Sentinels went perfect in Pool ‘A’ during the preliminary round with a 4-0 mark.
They nipped St. Pat’s (Atikokan) 25-23 before eking out a narrow 27-25 victory over the Mine Centre Thunderbirds.
After drubbing the J.W. Walker Wildcats 25-4, they shaded the St. Thomas Aquinas Saints (Kenora) 25-22.
The Royals also were perfect in the round robin, placing first in Pool ‘B’ with a 3-0 record.
Riverview beat the Robert Moore Mustangs 25-22, downed the host Crossroads Tornadoes 25-17, and then got past the Sturgeon Creek Sturgeons 25-19.
All teams in Pool ‘B’ only played three games in the preliminary round after Our Lady of the Way School (Stratton) had to pull out of the tournament due to having only three healthy players available thanks to the ’flu bug.
Meanwhile, the best-of-three bronze-medal match was a thriller as St. Pat’s flexed their muscles when they had to in edging Robert Moore 2-1 (no set scores were available).
The Mustangs went 2-1 in the preliminary round with wins over Crossroads (27-26) and Sturgeon Creek (25-18) while falling to Riverview.
St. Pat’s finished second in Pool ‘A’ with a 3-1 record, beating Mine Centre (25-19), J.W. Walker (25-13), and St. Thomas Aquinas (25-20) after losing to St. Francis.
The host squad had to settle for a 2-2 record, just missing the playoff round.
Crossroads had game point two different times, but still lost 27-26 to Robert Moore (games were capped at 27 points).
The Tornadoes rebounded to beat the Sturgeons 25-19, but in a do-or-die scenario in their final preliminary game, they were eliminated from further play in the loss to Riverview.
Mine Centre finished 2-2 at the event, beating the Wildcats 25-19 and Saints 25-18 before losing to St. Francis and St. Pat’s.
The Saints went 1-3, with their lone win coming against the Wildcats (25-13).
Sturgeon Creek was last in Pool ‘B’ at 0-3 while J.W. Walker was last in Pool ‘A’ at 0-4.
Another Grade 8 boys’ tournament will hit the floor at Robert Moore School this Saturday.
The regional tournament will be held later this month.