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Club News Story

Shotguns finish 5th in Canada

2012 / 05 / 24

Sport teaches us some very important life lessons, we can work and prepare under the best circumstances but injuries just like road blocks will occur in sport and in life and it’s how you learn to deal with them that will make you stronger. This weekend you showed Canada that you will not be outworked and did not leave any regrets on the floor, we’re proud of you and the team. Use this experience going forward that hard work and being prepared is the key to success in anything that you do” 

This was the concluding message to the athletes from coaches John Spack, John Nguyen, Katie Both, Marie Prentice and Lise Valcour after the Shotguns lost a tight two set match to Defensa in the quarter finals of the National Championships. 

The Shotguns entered the 2012 National Championship knowing that they had to outwork every team they faced and leave each match with no regrets knowing that they left their full effort on the court. With key injuries to Sophie Carpentier, Véronique Caya and Rebecca Roy the team was forced to rely on the team’s incredible depth to succeed. 

The Day 1 Pool had the Shotguns with the Pandas (Alberta Provincial Champion), the Bleu et Or from Moncton (NB2) and the South East Stingers (SK6).  The Pandas were first up and what a way to open up the National Championships facing a team that had won their Provincial Championship upsetting the CWDinos – Red (eventual 2012 National Champions).

The Pandas had a very impressive line up with plenty of size and skill and forced our Shotguns to serve tough in order to detract the Pandas from their high octane offense. The coaching staff was unable to scout our opponents and they knew that we had to serve tough in order to be successful that they slowly tested each Panda until they were able to find the weakest passer in their rotation and the Shotguns began to attack that player relentlessly. The strong serving Shotguns were able to win in two sets by set scores of 25-23 and 27-25. At this point we had no idea that this win over the Pandas would set us up nicely for Day 2.  

The second match was against a very skilled defensive team in the Bleu et Or who like the Shotguns adopted the “will not be outworked” motto and fought for every point however our Shotguns came out on top 25-23 and 25-18. Thanks to the pre-scouting from Coach Both we knew the other teams’ weaknesses and were able to exploit them. 

The South East Stingers (SK6) were the final opponent for the Shotguns and unfortunately for our Prairie friends the Shotguns were determined to finished atop the pool and they quickly disposed of the Stingers 25-10 and 25-13. 

The 3-0 record put us in a power pool against the Coquitlam Ducks (BC2), Saskatoon Chaos (SK1) and Regina Cougars (SK3) with the top two teams guaranteeing themselves a top 8 spot and a chance to win the Nationals on day three. 

For once this season, the volleyball Gods were shining on the Shotguns as the second place finisher from our pool, Pandas, was placed in a power pool with CWDinos-Red (AB2), Leaside Lightning (ON1) and FVVC Blitz (BC3) with the top three seeded teams from three very strong provinces in this power pool, making it to past this power pool (finishing top two) and moving on would prove to be very difficult especially with the sporadic play that the Shotguns had on Day 2. 

The Shotguns started off day 2 slow losing to the Coquitlam Ducks by scores of 21-25 and 23-25. With all do respect to our opponent, we simply did not play to our capabilities by committing too many unforced errors. This loss forced us to win the next two matches or our dream of medalling at Nationals would be over. 

Our second match was against the Regina Cougars and once again thanks to the advanced scouting of Coach Both and Coach Prentice the Shotguns had a game plan and executed it. The second match performance was better than the match against the Ducks however the Shotguns were still not playing to their abilities. The stressful third match to determine who would go on was played against the Saskatoon Chaos, Saskatchewan Provincial Champion, and it was a battle. The Shotguns won the first set 25-22 and were leading by as much as 5 points in the second set but our unforced errors cost us the second match 23-25. If there was a bright spot in the loss we were beginning to take back the momentum from the Chaos.

Between the second and deciding third set the coaches told the Shotguns that they had all the momentum even though they just lost the second set and Shotguns came out to a blazing start lead by huge efforts from Catherine Amyot and Shainah Joseph leading 8-2 at the court change. Special recognition should also go out to Rebecca Roy, who was nursing a sprained ankle, came in relief at the setting position for a huge third set win of 15-7. Kaly Soro is also to be commended for playing though a bruised thumb and visibly in pain each team she blocked a ball but refused to be taken off the court. Pain is just temporary.  Special thanks to Coach Valcour for giving us the tools to work through the stressful situation.This win put us through to the top tier and a chance to medal at the Championships. 

As we had mentioned in previous articles, the 18U category in Ontario this season was very deep and no one could predict who would win on any given OVA weekend and the top tier at this year’s Nationals was proof of that. Of the teams that made the top 8, four where from Ontario. Unfortunately, all 4 teams would face one another in the quarter final thus guaranteeing two Ontario teams in the semi finals but we’d also eliminate one another. 

We faced a strong opponent in Defensa in the quarterfinal fought hard but were unable to come out ahead losing in two sets 21-25 and 19-25. 

Final placing: 

Gold: CWDinos-Red (AB2) won in three tight sets over Defensa

Silver: Defensa (ON3)

Bronze: Cobras (MB1)

Fourth: Aurora Storm (ON5)

Tied Fifth:

Thunder Storm (BC1)

Coquitlam Ducks (BC2)

Leaside Lightning (ON1)

Maverick Shotguns (ON6)  

To the athletes, you ladies made us very proud this weekend and throughout your careers as Mavericks. You never once used the excuse that we were not healthy you just competed with all you had and were all accepting of your piece of the puzzle to our team success. We’re extremely confident and assured that the future is so much brighter with you all being future leaders in the community. 

Best of luck to our graduating seniors, you've earned the Mavs'12 alumni title: 

Catherine Amyot (Mavs’12) as you pursue your education and volleyball career at McGill

Sophie Carpentier (Mavs’12) as you pursue your education and volleyball career at Trinity Western University

Véronique Caya (Mavs’12) as you pursue your education and volleyball career at the University of Ottawa

Nathalie Drouin (Mavs’12) as you pursue your education and volleyball career at St, Mary’s University

Vanessa Hanrahan (Mavs’12) as you pursue your education and volleyball career at the University of Ottawa.

Ana Martin (Mavs’12) as you pursue your education and volleyball career in Quebec.

You will always be welcomed home as a Maverick. It has been an incredible privilege to have worked with you ladies over the years and watching you develop into great athletes but more importantly into incredible people. 

To the returning athletes; Shainah Joseph, Veneta Mincheva, Kaly Soro, Rebecca Roy and Evelyn Yang you will be called upon to lead the next group of athletes and ensuring that they know that a team is “put many pieces of a puzzle” that needs to come together and that from day one they have to train and compete with no regrets. You will undoubtedly face roadblocks and challenges next season but being prepared and hard work will most certainly overcome them all. 

Best of luck to you all with Team Ontario and Junior National Team selections this summer. 

Last but not least a special thank you to the parents, family and friends who provided the support over the years with the team logistics, support, guidance and dedication we thank you. 

Go Mavs Go!!

“ Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. ”
– David Ogilvy