The Béatrice-Desloges Bulldogs won the school's first-ever senior girls AAA volleyball championship on Monday and they did so by knocking off the four-time defending champion Glebe Gryphons in straight sets.
|The Bulldogs roster includes Mégane Rioplelle, Émilie Beaulieu, Emma Titley, Karina Yelle, Chloé Régimbald, Dominique Knight, Florence Servant-Dugas, and Valérie Sabourin. FRED SHERWIN PHOTO
The Bulldogs went into the playoffs as the number one seed after finishing the regular season with an 8-0 record. In those eight games, they dropped just four sets – two against Franco-Cité and two against De La Salle. They had clean sheets in the other six games including a 3-0 sweep of the Gryphons on Jan. 9.
After the Bulldogs won the opening set in Monday’s championship final in fairly convincing fashion, the Gryphons were able to keep the score close in the second set and at one point, lead 10-8 before the Bulldogs went on a 14-3 run to go up
22-13. They eventually won the set by eight points.
In the championship set, the Gryphons managed to get within two points of the lead at 22-20, but an errant serve followed by a pair of well-placed spike shots by the Bulldogs’ Karina Yelle and Emma Titley gave Béatrice-Desloges the 25-22 win and the title.
Yelle and Titley were a dynamic duo at the net, registering eight kills between them in the second set and blocking several strikes from the Gryphons. They had five more kills between them in the third set and captain Mégane Riopelle had a key block to put her team up 19-14. But it was Chloé Régimbald who delivered the winning spike shot to give the Bulldogs the championship.
After the game, Bulldogs coach Joel Lavoie compared this year's squad with some of the past teams.
"We've had some pretty good teams the past six or seven years," said Lavoie, "but these girls just have that little extra. They've jelled really well together and we've been more aggressive this year than any other year."
The team is also extremely talented. Titley and Riopelle both play competitive volleyball with the Ottawa Mavericks, as does Émilie Boileau.
Although they don't have a lot of height – Titley is the tallest player on the team at 5'9" – they are extremely athletic.
That athleticism could prove to be a valuable asset when they take on some much taller teams at the OFSAA provincial championships in Chatham next week.
The team's goal is to medal, no matter what the colour.
Riopelle is just thrilled to be going to the provincial championships after not making it the past three years.
"I'm really excited to finally get to go to OFSSA, we've been close many years but finally we're here," said Riopelle who graduates this spring.
"This team is very deep. The players on the bench are ready to go in and swing as hard as any other girls and we have a lot of energy."
The OFSAA championships get underway on March 9 and wrap up two days later.