Cougar Classic attracting top Maritime teams
Hosts gunning for third straight tournament victory of season
The Cobequid Cougars will host 25 of the top high school girls volleyball teams in the Maritimes Friday and Saturday for the annual Cougar Classic tournament.
The tournament is being held at the CEC, vocational school and Truro junior gymnasiums.
Matches begin at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon with the last matches on Friday scheduled for 9 p.m. On Saturday, matches begin at 9 a.m. with the last round-robin games scheduled for noon. Quarter-final playoffs will be played at 2:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. with semifinals to follow at 5 p.m. The championship match will be played at 6:15 p.m. at the CEC gym.
Representing the Metro region will be Sackville, Citadel, J.L. Illsley, Sir John A, Dartmouth, Halifax West and Lockview. Citadel has won the NSSAF Division 1 provincial title for the last three years and is defending champions of the Cougar Classic. Although they graduated a number of key players, the Pheonix are expected to be one of the top teams in the province again this year.
There are four entries from P.E.I. – Three Oaks, Kensington, Bluefield and Charlottetown Rural – competing. Charlottetown Rural and Kensington are two teams that are expected to be very competitive with the Nova
Scotia sides this season.
Representing the Western region will be Middleton, Horton, Parkview, West Kings and Yarmouth. Parkview is expected to be one of the top Division 1 teams in the province and was a finalist last weekend in the Bridgewater tournament. West Kings and Middleton are always at, or near, the top of Division 2 provincials.
From Cape Breton, SAERC, Riverview and Sydney Academy will compete. SAERC was provincial D-2 finalists last year and is guided by veteran coach Dave MacIsaac. Riverview has been the top team in the Highland region for quite some time and is always competitive with teams from the mainland.
Close to home, the Northumberland region will be represented by Ecole Acadienne de Truro, Antigonish, Northumberland and two CEC teams.
Ecole Acadienne is defending Division 3 provincial champions and is led by provincial team player Emma Gailee. Dr. J.H. Gillis will be led by Canada Games player Sophie MacInnis. Although it appears to be a rebuilding year for the Royals, veteran coach Joe Duggan will put together a very competitive squad, which will show constant improvement as the year goes on.
Northumberland has a strong nucleus of returning players and with veteran coach Keith Melanson at the helm, the Nighthawks are poised for a run at the Division 1 title.
CEC has one of the best-balanced and deepest teams they’ve had in recent years. The Cougars have been Division 1 provincial finalists the last three years and are looking to go one better this season. CEC #1 has already won the first two tournaments of the year in Kensington and Bridgewater.
With several key players from last year’s Division 2 championship team moving up to Team #1, the CEC #2 team is in a bit of a rebuilding mode, but has shown major improvement in each of its matches in the first two tournaments of the season.