Hapnot’s Kings and Kweens will add two new banners to the crowded walls of the school gym. Both the school’s senior squads won Zone 11 volleyball championships last weekend and will play in provincials next month.
The Kings hosted their zone championship tournament Nov. 18-19 at Hapnot. In pool play in the six team tournament, Hapnot won their matchups 25-8, 25-7 against the Oscar Lathlin Wolverines from Opaskwayak Cree Nation and 25-13, 25-14 against Norway House’s Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre (HBOIERC) Huskies. That gave the Kings the top seed and a bye to the semifinal round.
In the semis, Hapnot would play the Margaret Barbour Collegiate (MBCI) Spartans, who were beaten by the Frontier Collegiate Raiders from Cranberry Portage in pool play but who beat Oscar Lathlin to enter the semis. In the Kings/Spartans clash, it was Hapnot who came out on top, needing extra points to finish the second set but heading into the final with a 25-15, 28-26 win.
In the zone final, the Kings would face the Raiders in a Highway 10 tilt, with the Kings taking the first set with ease and fighting back from an early second set deficit to win 25-11, 25-21. The team was presented with the Zone 11 banner, the third such banner the school has won this school year after the junior varsity Kweens volleyball team’s zone win a week earlier and the varsity Kweens soccer team.
With the victory, the Kings and their four Grade 12 players will go on to provincials in The Pas, hosted by MBCI, Dec. 1-3.
In Norway House, the varsity Kweens also got down to business, also taking part in zone play on the Huskies’ home court. Pool play was split for the Kweens, who won two sets and lost two in their first games, going 25-16, 13-25 against Oscar Lathlin and 25-14, 23-25 against Frontier.
With the slow start, the Kweens would have to play a quarterfinal game and win three playoff round games to clinch the zone and a provincial spot. Their first game against the host HBOIERC Huskies involved little resistance, with Hapnot winning 25-4, 25-2 and moving on to the semis against MBCI. A similar one-sided win resulted, with the Kweens advancing to the final with a 25-13, 25-6 victory.
The final would bring a rematch between the Kweens and Oscar Lathlin, who took a set off Hapnot in pool play. Despite that early setback, the Kweens hunkered down and won 25-13, 25-21 to win Hapnot's fourth zone banner this year.
Provincials will take place for the Kweens in The Pas concurrently with the boys’ tournament, Dec. 1-3 at MBCI. Six Grade 12 players have suited up with the Kweens this year.
The JV Kweens’ provincials will take place this weekend in Russell at Major Pratt School, with Hapnot playing in the pool round against the MacGregor Mustangs and the Prairie Mountain High School Predators from Somerset Nov. 24. The JV Kweens, whose roster is made mostly of Grade 9 players with only four Grade 10s, have not yet faced either team this season.