Photos by Eva Edwards
Our EOVC 17U Girls headed to Bowmanville on Saturday to compete in the OVA 17U Girls Challenge Cup/Trillium. None of them could have known the long and winding road upon which they were about to embark.
The day started off early, with AF in the only pool with 4 teams, meaning matches would only be 2 sets, with points differential being the deciding factor. The girls had their ups and downs, ending up in a position where they would need to win a crossover to continue on in the hunt for a medal. Scores from Pool Play were as follows:
vs. Fusion 16U Explosion (Ottawa): W/1-1 (12-25, 25-11)
vs. DRVC 16U (Oshawa): L/0-2 (12-25, 17-25)
vs. Clarington Grizzlies: L/0-2 (18-25, 18-25)
Air Force met Ottawa Valley Vikings (Renfrew) in the crossover, and while it was not necessarily the girls’ best match of the day, they did enough to make their way to the quarter-finals, winning in straight sets by scores of 25-23 and 25-14. Their opponents in the all-important quarter-finals were Attack Red (Durham). This is a team which our flyers had defeated at their last event in Kingston, and things were no different this time around. The girls bought their ticket into a match for a medal by passing, digging and hammering their way past Attack by scores of 25-22, 18-25, 15-8.
That semi-final matchup turned out to be an unfortunate one for our girls, as they once again drew the very powerful and smooth-as-silk DRVC 16U team from Oshawa. While their early energy levels kept our girls battling in the morning encounter, our very tired group was just not ready for these Rebels the second time around. The team from Oshawa knocked us out of the gold medal match (and in-so-doing, kept us in Trillium division), winning by scores of 13-25 and 14-25.
Not sure how it all happened, but the other quarters and semis went nowhere near as smoothly as did our draw, forcing the girls to wait an hour and a half for their 7th (!) and final match of the day to begin against Maverick Twisters from Ottawa. I would have to say that the wait gave their batteries a good charge, and it showed, as the girls played some spirited, selfless volleyball and claimed the bronze medal in a straight sets, very exciting 25-23, 25-23 victory! Congratulations girls on your extremely hard-earned first medal of the season!
As always, our thanks go out to the coaches – especially to Coach Woods who once again stepped in for Head Coach Matt Hoey who is away travelling the outback! Kudos to the parents who made it awfully fun and kept the positive support coming from the sidelines. While the rules state that only the top 2 teams move up to Championship Division, our girls proved that they were certainly the best 17U team at this 17U event, which seems good-as-gold to all of us who were lucky enough to have been there to cheer you on!