Provincials Report 2023

A recap from the Club President

May 1, 2023

While for many the Ontario Championships covered 3 days of organized chaos at the Enercare Centre this past weekend, for others it was actually 6 days.

For me, the event marks a definite signpost that we are back to normal and all engines are on full thrust post-COVID. These Mega OCs were refreshing for the pre-pandemic parents as it really felt like days of old. For those of you having a first-time experience with Provincials or Nationals, it was quite the spectacle.
Now on to the action. it was tough to get courtside for every team, but I believe I was able to see games from all of the following over the 6 days… Lonestars, Spurs, Rattlers, Sidewinders, Rustlers, Bandits, Renegades, Outlaws, Raiders, Desperados, Ambush, Stampede, Trailblazers, Chargers, Cavalry, Brigade, Longhorns, Bulls, Toros, Blackjacks, Wildcards, Gamblers, Aces, GoldRush, Klondike, Cowboys, Marshalls, Rangers, Palominos, Colts and Broncos. Phew! My English teacher will have to forgive my run-on sentence, but 31 Maverick teams posed an impressive assault on this year’s Championships.
For those who didn’t quite get it figured out, the tournament used a lot of terms like Events, Waves, Divisions and Tiers. I am told the first three days are called Event 1 and the second three Event 2, not too elegant but it can all be a bit overwhelming for a beginner. Waves are either morning or afternoon. Divisions are usually groups of 32 for scheduling purposes and tiers are where you eventually find yourself on Day 3. You can move up or down a Tier but not a Division. Medals are awarded to the top teams in each tier.
For the first event (Thursday through Saturday).… we had many outstanding success stories rise up and show their stuff. I will point to how amazingly well our young Rustlers 13u boys did in the 6v6 division, placing 5th under coach the tutalge of coach Misha. The 15u boys were all the buzz when the newly formed Cavalry won their first 4 matches of the weekend, almost rising to the top tier. When the dust settled we had 3 teams in the top 16 of a total of 46 teams across Ontario at one age division, very impressive. Our Mustangs rebounded from a tough start to make their Tier2 final coming up with a Silver Medal. Another noteable performance was the 18u Palminos, the first year for this moniker to be in OVA competition and they finished in the medal round of their Div T1 with a 4th place finish.
Meanwhile, the 18u Broncos were setting the world on fire with a Tier1 Div 1 Bronze that certainly brought a smile to Coach Spack and his crew. Great job ladies. Other medal performances were to come in the second phase. Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t point point out the tremendous pride we all felt when our own Victoria Potvin (18u Broncos) was awarded the Evelyn Hollick award for Excellence and Sportsmanship. After a busy day, it was great to see the next phase of teams roll in and cheer on our troops as they checked in for phase 2.
Sunday morning was back to the grind of pool play for Event 2. It was also  a spectacular day on the record books with many Maverick teams going undefeated or winning their pool outright. That level of success brings with it a little tougher day on day 2 but our teams responded well to the challenge with very few regressing. Many moved to the top tier and began the hunt for a title others found the level they could be competitive at. This “settling was evident in the number of incredibly tight scores in games both won and lost.In the end, our top placement was at 14u or TLS where the Bandits won a Bronze medal by defeating Pakmen. For many of us, any win against Pakmen is doubly enjoyable.
Meanwhile at 17u, the Rangers took 4th Div1 T1. Also in medal games on Tuesday were the Stampede, Cowboys, Bulls, Longhorns and Aces. Winning Gold, Silver, Silver, Bronze and 4th respectfully. (Div3, Div3, Div2, Div2, Div4). Of noteworthy mention are the Rattlers who moved up two tiers to start Thursday in Div 1 T1. They got a good lesson in how much the game changes in the higher tiers, however their scores in the playoffs give us all much to hope for.
And just like that, it was time to take my weary knees home for some ice and rest (90,000+ steps on concrete can certainly wreak havoc). I can’t help but be pleased at how our many proud Mavericks competed, how much we all learned, and the memories and bonds that were created or re-established over those 6 intense days.
A huge thank you to all coaches for their unbounded effort and enthusiasm, to parents for their support and energy, to club/team staff for doing the work to get us here, and of course to the athletes for their efforts and athleticism which brought cheers from us all.
For those of you going to Nationals, I know you’re getting ready to “bring it to another level”. I look forward to seeing you all again in May.
Kerry MacLean
President & GM
Maverick Volleyball Club
Est 1985