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Ten area teams bound for OFSAA competition; Holy Cross hosting boys AAA volleyball

November 19, 2014

By CLAUDE SCILLEY

Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers are the third-seeded team for the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations boys AAA volleyball championship tournament, a 20-team affair that starts Thursday in Kingston.

Regi, 10-0 during the regular year and unbeaten en route to the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association championship, has been to the last nine provincial tournaments, having won a medal each time and three titles in the last 12 years, most recently back-to-back championships 2009-10.

The top two seeds are also perennial powers. The No. 1 seed, Chatham Kent, is the two-time defending champion and has won five OFSAA crowns in the last 11 years, including the last two times the tournament was in Kingston, in 2011 and 2003.

London Oakridge, the No. 2 seed, has won the OFSAA pennant three times in the last nine years.

Combined, Chatham-Kent, Oakridge and Regi have won 11 of the last 12 provincial championships.

Regi is one of three Kingston Area teams in the 20-team tournament. Holy Cross, 9-1 in the regular year whose only two losses in conference play came against Regi, is the tournament’s 10th-seeded team while the Loyalist Lancers, 6-4 in the regular year, are the 20th seed.

Loyalist finds itself in a five-team preliminary pool with Chatham-Kent; Regi is in Pool B with No. 8 Port Perry, No. 9 Sir John A. Macdonald of Agincourt, No. 14 Hamilton Cathedral and No. 19 Francis Libermann of Scarborough.

Holy Cross is in Pool D, with No. 4 Maple, No. 7 LaSalle St. Thomas of Villanova, No. 13 Mississauga St. Paul and No. 17 Marc-Garneau of Trenton.

Matches will be played all day Thursday at Holy Cross, the tournament host, Regi and Bartlett Gym at Queen’s University. Preliminary round play resumes Friday morning at Regi, Holy Cross and the upper gyms at the Queen’s Athletics and Recreation Centre. Quarter-finals will be played Friday at 4:30.

Championship semifinals will be played at 11 a.m. Saturday at Regi and Holy Cross, leading to a bronze-medal match at 3 p.m. and the championship match at 5 o’clock, both at Holy Cross.

North Addington in Cloyne is the 20th seed at the single-A boys volleyball tournament in Welland. One of two teams representing COSSAA at the 20-team competition—No. 2 Quinte Christian of Belleville is the other—the Vikings find themselves in a preliminary pool with defending champion Smithville Christian, the tournament’s top-seeded team; No. 6 Durham Christian of Bowmanville, No. 11 St. Joseph of Renfrew and No. 16 Nouveau Regard Pavillon Jeunesse Nord from Cochrane.

North Addington will play round-robin matches Thursday at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Friday at 8:30 and 11:30 a.m.

The Vikings won the OFSAA single-A title in 1984; the last eastern Ontario team to win the championship was L’Escale of Rockland, which won back-to-back crowns in 2003-04. Quinte Christian won the tournament three years in a row, most recently in 2012.

Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers, undefeated through 10 league and three playoff games in the Kingston Area Secondary Schools Athletic Association, are the fourth seed at the girls AAA basketball tournament in Windsor. Play in the 16-team competition begins Thursday, and the Panthers debut at 10 a.m. against No. 10 St. Thomas of Villanova, in the Villanova gym in nearby LaSalle.

Three-time defending champion Hamilton St. Mary’s is the top-seeded team in the tournament.

Holy Cross is the last eastern Ontario team to win the tournament, in 2002, and the only Kingston Area team ever to do so. Last year, Regi won its first two games and advanced to the quarter-finals, where it was ousted by St. Thomas Aquinas of London.

La Salle Black Knights will contest the girls AA championship at the 18-team tournament in Kingsville, one of two teams—Carleton Place is the other—to emerge from the Eastern Ontario tournament last weekend.

Seeded 11th, La Salle will open against No. 2 Timmins Theriault at 6 p.m. Thursday.

John McGregor of Chatham is the top-seeded team. Also in the field are defending champion J.S. Denison of Newmarket (seeded 12th); 2012 champion St. Francis of St. Catharines (No. 3) and Bishop Macdonell of Guelph, the No. 7 seed, which won back-to-back OFSAA titles 2008-09.

Last year the Knights won their first-round game before dropping two in a row. The last eastern Ontario team to win the AA crown was Brockville Thousand Islands, whose three-year championship run ended iin 1996.

In the single-A girls basketball tournament in Ingleside, the Rideau District Lions will open against St. Paul of Trenton, the No. 13 seed, at 3 p.m. Thursday. The Lions, the seventh-seeded team in the 16-team competition, won the provincial championship in 2004; no eastern Ontario team has won it since Kemptville St. Michael in 2006.

Nouvelle-Alliance of Barrie begins play as the No. 1 seed.

Two Kingston Area senior football teams have bowl dates in their future.

On Saturday, the Sydenham Golden Eagles will play the Crestwood Mustangs of Peterborough in the National Capital Bowl, a regional championship for AA schools, at 2 p.m. at Mary Ann Sills Park in Belleville. That game will follow the junior contest, between the Kingston Area champion La Salle Black Knights and the Fenelon Falls Falcons.

After an undefeated regular season, Sydenham whipped La Salle 47-0 in the KASSAA senior double-A final and then held on to defeat Brockville 31-28 in an eastern Ontario semifinal. Last Friday, the Golden Eagles qualified for the National Capital final with a come-from-behind 19-14 victory over Almonte in the EOSSAA championship game.

Crestwood, the Peterborough champion, qualified for Saturday’s match by defeating Belleville Centennial, the Bay of Quinte champion, 16-2 in the central Ontario final and St. Mark of Manotick, the Ottawa-Carleton winner, 34-17, in a regional semifinal Friday.

Crestwood and Sydenham met in the 2010 National Capital Bowl at Rogers Centre in Toronto. After Sydenham’s Hayden Peters kicked a field goal in the final minute of the fourth quarter to force overtime, the Mustangs prevailed 16-13 when Ben Nanni kicked a 34-yard field goal for Crestwood.

Frontenac Falcons, meanwhile, await their opponent in their AAA OFSAA Bowl in Hamilton Nov. 26. The Falcons will play the Toronto Secondary Schools Athletic Association champion, which will be determined Thursday when Richview and Etobicoke meet at Esther Shiner Stadium.

The game is one of nine so-called OFSAA Bowl games to be played at McMaster’s Ron Joyce Stadium, where three games will be played Wednesday, Thurday and Friday among 18 association champions from across the province, in matches selected at random. The series replaces the five regional championships that were contested through 2012, mostly held in the Rogers Centre.

As the only conference in EOSSAA with triple-A schools, the Kingston Area champion earned an automatic bid to its game by winning the county championship, as Frontenac did with a 20-9 win over the Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers.

Frontenac, which has been idle since that game on Nov. 8, has been to an OFSAA Bowl eight times since Kingston-area schools were first invited to the dance in 2001, winning six times. After back-to-back National Capital Bowl victories in 2011-12, the Falcons were beaten 32-1 by Lorne Park of Mississauga last year.

The Falcons ended the season with a four-game winning streak, after starting the campaign 1-3. Their game on the 26th is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

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