Strikers crowned city champions

The McRoberts Strikers senior boys volleyball team capped a very productive 24 hours for the Williams Road school.

With a senior girls volleyball title won the night before and the senior boys soccer team capturing the inaugural South Fraser AA Zone title hours earlier, the Strikers added to the celebration with a 3-1 victory over the Steveston-London Sharks on Thursday night to capture the Richmond championship for the first time in three years.

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City enior boys’ bragging rights had been nothing more than a formality the past couple of seasons thanks to Richmond Christian’s dominance. However, this year was considered much more wide open even with Steveston London going a perfect 8-0 in league play.

The Sharks squeaked out a 3-2 win in the only regular season meeting between the two schools and both are ranked among the top 15 in the province within their respective tiers.

The intrigue of the match-up attracted a nearly capacity crowd at the “Shark Tank.”

The hosts took the opening set but it was all Strikers the rest of the way — building up sizeable lead then turning back Shark rallies to win the next three games, including 25-18 victory in the fourth set.

Both teams now turn their attention to next week’s inaugural South Fraser Zone playoffs in what are shaping up to be very competitive tournaments.

The Strikers will head to Surrey where there will be one guaranteed B.C berth available and four tournament wild card spots at the Zone AA playdowns. McRoberts will enter the event ranked ninth in B.C. with their main rivals expected to be No. 7 Pacific Academy and No. 11 Surrey Christian. 

The tournament gets underway on Tuesday and concludes Thursday at Surrey Christian.

Meanwhile, the Sharks should enjoy home court advantage for much of the 12-team South Fraser AAA Championships that will wrap-up next Friday in Richmond.

Top ranked Earl Marriott are the heavy favourites but the South Surrey school is already guaranteed a B.C. berth as the hosts.

That leaves five strong teams battling for four spots at the Langley Events Centre later this month including the 12th ranked Sharks. 

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