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Club News Story

Weekend Round up - Second of 2016

2016 / 01 / 18

Oh heck let’s start off with one of the most amazing stories of the weekend and the 15u Stampede of Coach Chico Tanguay. A slow start in the first tournament this season saw the Stampede drop down from Championship level to Trillium. Concern was high at the time with some, but Coach C kept the faith and ever since these girls have lived up to their name. Trampling through the field in their second event they earned a return to the Championship tier and were determined not to let that chance fade away.

The difference in the group could likely be attributed to full health and a nice Christmas break.  The move up to Championship made their challenge an uphill drive as they entered the event seeded ninth. (this equates to a 9:00 am game with the #1 seed) Let the hoof beats rumble early, wins over the STVC Titans and our own 16u TrailBlazers to take over the #1 seed. Comfortable wins over both Durham Red and the Vipers to face off once again with the Titans. With a berth in Premier East on the line, the Stampede was put on hold briefly as the girls faltered for the first time in the second set losing to the Titans and forcing that crucial 15 point game for the title. The group’s confidence must have been shaken but thanks to the inspiration of Trail-boss Tremblay wrangled the team got back in the right direction and crushed the Titans with an improbable 12-1 run of points to eliminate a 3-12 deficit. Volleyball purists will say that like other non-clock based games, volleyball holds the potential of never say die comebacks. Congrats to all coaches and the girls for their huge win and move to the Premier East division final event in early March.

Up in Sudbury Coach John Nguyen’s 15u team also found themselves in a situation akin to their own moniker. But on this day the name was more indicative of being the victim rather than the perpetrator. At the 15u Premier East event in Sudbury the Ambush found themselves on the other side of the coin against both the number 1 (Leaside) and 2 (Titans) teams in East Premier and as he describes it, "an outstanding 14u group from Aurora Storm" that caught them off-guard in pool play and off-balance in their last match of the day. This result means that they will move to Championship for their final event unless the wildcard gods come calling. (Complete story:

At the McGregor trillium event in Kingston we saw the 15u Scouts and two 14u teams competing. In round robin play Coach Andrei Mant’s group first played the Ottawa Valley Vikings Black and won the match 25-15, 24-26. (Two set matches) The second match was vs Pegasus U14 Lightning and we won 25-8, 25-14 and were equally successful in our final round robin match vs the Mustangs winning 25-16, 25-12, thereby finishing with a record of 5-1 sets and top in our pool.  Along came the spoils of success, ironically a 2 1/2 break until our first playoff match can have the inverse effect than it should. This long break cooled off a hot team and it proved  to be a more challenging afternoon. The Scouts played the U14 Pegasus Thunder in the first match of the playoffs and lost a heartbreaker in the third set (15-11). We had our opportunities to put the match away, but could not put together a string of points. The match was up and down the whole way... to top it off this resulted in a match vs our own 14u Outlaws and another disappointing performance dropped the girls from a lofty morning to a somber afternoon and 7th place, truly not the fate this group deserved, but fodder for the coaches to bring back to the training gym in the weeks to come.

Staying in Kingston of course we are well aware of the solid results of the Outlaws this seasonand coach Krawchuk’s excellent group of 14u Pre-HP girls who have lead the charge at this age group for most of the season. But Saturday was time for another 14u band under coach Rob McMullin to steal the highlights (literally). The Raiders proved not to be a morning team this weekend when they lost their first game of the day 5-25.  From that very low point to say they got better each match would be an under statement. That slow start resulted in 3rd place finish in their pool which included 14U Pegasus Thunder and 15U Ottawa Fusion which placed us in a match against the 4th place team in pool C which was the other 14U Pegasus teamthe Lightning.  Take one letter away and you would be the "lighting" of the fuse to start this group on an explosive roll.  The Raiders out menaced the Outlaws who finished first in their pool. Sweet revenge as last encounter with the Outlaws the Raiders lost 17-15 in the third at 14u, that loss must have motivated them prior to playing them again and they stole the match in 3 games. What a huge lift one that moved them on to the semi-finals where the girls faced the same 14U Pegasus team from their pool. They say Lightning never strikes twice but has anyone ever noticed if Thunder does?  This time there was no holding the Raiders back and they swiped the re-match in 2 straight.  Now in the Gold medal match, and of course the day wouldn’t be complete without one more taste of Raider revenge. Their opponents in the title tilt were those 15U Fusion, their other early morning loss. To say that  they robbed the Fusion of a chance to move up in their age group with a huge win in straight sets including a come back from 24 -21 in the second game to win 27-25 would be an understatement.

Phew that is a lot already but hold on to your britches, we also had 3 teams competing at 17u. At the Championship tier we had two squads playing in Markham. The 17u Gold Rush also lived up to their name with a huge day that only had one slip up on the way. Once again the morning was not stellar but good enough to set up a great afternoon. A win over the BlackJacks got us going but a loss to the 16u Titans was a sting that would stick with the girls for the day. Playoff round #1 was another all Ottawa affair with the GoldRush winning in straight sets over Fusion, yet again, yielding a stingy 24 points in the match. On to the semis and a tough 3 set match with Reach Synergy ended with the tightest of scores in the third 15-13. This dealt the ‘Rush a rematch with the young Titans again and a chance to hit the mother load. From earlier recaps you might get the hint that rematches seem to go our way today, Coach Judy Mousseau would continue the streak with a three set affair that ended with a 15-3 crushing of the Scarborough squad and what might be a chance to play in the 17u Grandprix. (It’s all down to points now)

As mentioned Coach John Spack and his 16u BlackJacks had a day of their own in 17u Championship. Up an age group and vying for the next level. Having been suffering from a large number of injuries the ‘Jacks were now close to healthy but not quite at the peak. A tough B pool included losses to the aforementioned GoldRush and Titans, however recovering with a win over Durham Attack in the 3v3 match means a date with #1 seed Reach Synergy and the BlackJacks came up busted one more time. Ok so how do you salvage a day like this, well a win over the 17u Fusion team and a reward of staying at Championship would make the ride home just a little bit sweeter for players and coaches alike. The BlackJacks deal in sweet!

At 17u Trillium the 16u WildCards were cutting a slightly different story in Kingston. Coach Pat Henderson had the girls fired up with new line-ups and a 100% healthy roster as well they hoped their #1 seed would bring the reward they have longed for. The day went well with 3 straight wins over Bellville and Uxbridge along with a double down over the Valahalla Vikings. The semis were the end of the line for these dealers of destruction. For the 4th time this season a 17u squad from the home town were able to trump their hand and send them to the Bronze. Crushed by the loss the girls couldn’t shuffle the deck enough to get the hand they needed for a bronze medal falling in a pair of 2 set losses to the Thunder of Peterborough.

Now for the story of the boys trip south of the border. While a trip to the USA brings with it a lot of new experience, one that was not welcome was that pesky exchange rate… the second was the reintroduction to those silly copper pennies you were given in your change. All three High Performance boy’s teams were in Rochester for the CanAm Open Bid event hosted by Pace-Bootlegger. 130 teams across 5 age divisions from Pittsburgh to the Jersey shore and south to Puerto Rico and of course north from Ontario. Teams vie for the right to attend the US Junior Olympics by winning a bid (Bids are awarded to the highest finishing teams who have yet to earn one.)

The 18u Mustangs had a great showing in the Rochester armory winning 6 straight matches for coach Frank St Denis on their way to the semis (including a grudge rematch against Pace in the quarters) where a lopsided straight set loss to Yorktowne Pennsylvania forced them to settle for third (tied with Aurora Storm thankfully the tournament cancelled the bronze game in favour of more important bid matches between teams that the Storm and Mustangs trampled over the weekend).

The 17u Rangers were playing at Nazareth College and had a very similar fate as the Mustangs (both teams suffered only a single set loss in their first 6 matches), however injuries may have been the true reason coach Bruce Dunning's crew were stopped short by the host Bootlegger team and again we finish with a tie for third with Storm.

The 16u Longhorns began the tournament with a three match streak that saw them win their opening pool but an early morning loss to a Pittsburgh Smash team put them in a tough must win with Pace in their final power pool The ‘Horns got it together and played their best match of the tournament to advance to the Gold bracket. Here they came across their first Canadian opponent in the Impact form Georgetown and that is where the cattle drive ended…with Impact.

And that's all for now folks.

“ My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging. ”
– Hank Aaron