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Senior Girls Volleyball
Colonel By wins first senior girls V-Ball crown in six years
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Members of the Colonel By Cougars senior girls volleyball team celebrate after winning the Tier 1 city championship on Thursday. Fred Sherwin/Photo


The Colonel By Cougars have left no doubt who the best senior girls volleyball team is in the city after downing the Béatrice-Desloges Bulldogs in straight sets to win the Tier 1 NCSSAA championship on Thursday.

Coming off an emotionally-charged five set semi-final win over the five-time defending champion Glebe Gryphons on Tuesday, the Cougars had already wrapped up a trip to the OFSAA provincial championships, the only thing that still had to be determined was whether they would be heading to the Quad-A provincial championships in Mississauga or the AAA championships in Thunder Bay.

The Cougars trailed the Bulldogs for most of the opening set until a power spike by Jovana Novakovic tied the score at 23-23. A pair of unforced errors on the part of the Bulldogs would give the Cougars the early 1-0 lead.

Colonel By only trailed once in the second set down 14-13, then at 19-17 they reeled off three straight points to take a five point lead. Béatrice-Desloges managed to get back to within two at 24-22 before the Cougars finally closed out the game to take a two set lead.

The third set was a see-saw battle until Novakovic made a block at the net for one point and tipped the ball for another score to give the Colonel By a commanding four point lead up 22-18. The Bulldogs then managed to get a side out and score a point on the serve to narrow the deficit to 22-20, before the Cougars served out the match for the win.

The final match point came on a spectacular spike from the back row by Alana MacLean. Alyssa Ashton also had a big game with several key blocks and Samantha Nishikawa scored several key points as well. But the tone of the match was set by Cougars centre Marijke Miedema.

“I thought she did a good job controlling the match,” Cougars head coach Greg Bell said after the game. “As long as we got the ball up to her, she controlled the pace of the game. After the first set, we really started to block well and our hitting was pretty spot on.”

Unfortunately the Bulldogs didn’t have much of an answer for the Cougars’ tremendous net play. Everytime Béatrice-Desloges managed to get the score close, the Cougars were able to get a couple of big points and stay out of trouble.

Bulldogs coach Joel Lavoie says his team’s inability to establish an effective block was the difference in the game.

“We really didn’t block well and that hurt us. But, you know, we’re a very young team, we only have two Grade 12s and eight Grade 10s, so we should be able to come back and hopefully win the gold.”

In the end the final score was 25-23, 25-22, 25-21 in favour of the Cougars.

The win marks the first time Colonel By has captured the Tier 1 senior girls championship since 2003. For the last several years their arch-nemesis has been the Glebe Gryphons.

The Cougars only loss during the regular season was a five-setter against Glebe back in December. For the seniors on the team who will be graduating this year, dowing the Gryphons in the semi-finals was the biggest match of their high school careers.

“That was a huge win. It was a much more emotional game, especially from the aspect that it was against Glebe who’s had our number the past couple of years and the fact that it guaranteed us a trip to OFSAA,” said Miedema. “For this to happen in my final year is amazing.”

(Posted 7:30 a.m., Feb. 27)

 

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