Young Chill crew serve notice in Newmarket
by Randy Pascal
Breakthrough weekend has arrived for the Northern Chill 13U Girls. After showing signs of being able to remain in medal contention at their past
couple of OVA (Ontario Volleyball Association) tournaments, the locals scaled another mountain recently in Newmarket, claiming silver at the
Bugarski Cup playdown earlier this month.
Three set matches were the order of the day, including in pool play, as the Chill slipped past both the Toronto Galaxy Comets (25-15, 21-25, 15-9)
and the Barrie Elites Blue (25-17, 21-25, 15-9) in morning action.
The northern crew sustained that template in their quarter-final match, defeating the PVB U12 High Performance reps from Toronto, 25-21, 17-25,
15-7. The experience of battling through third and deciding sets came in especially handy in the semis, as the Chill outlasted the Aurora Storm Tsunami
U12 squad 25-21, 10-25, 19-17, ensuring themselves no worse than a second place finish.
Somewhat drained, both physically and emotionally, from a very long day of volleyball, the Sudbury girls settled for silver in the end, beaten 16-25,
11-25 by the Aurora Storm Cyclones in the championship affair.
“Words alone could not express the pride I have with this group of girls,” noted head coach Bryan Welsh. “We had a long day of matches that
tested the mental toughness of the girls, as well as their volleyball skills. They proved they truly belong in the upper half of the OVA.”
In particular, Welsh noted the play of Sophie Gaffney (taking control of games with her attach and defensive play), Emma Coutu (true
leadership skills, leading the charge on a pair of comebacks) and setter Hayley Bertrand (amazing hands).
Rounding out the 2016-2017 version of the 13U Northern Chill are Vanessa Gauthier, Anya Dowe, Emma Vaillancourt, Haven Fournier, Mackenzie Selk, Erin
Wiseman, Rory Frantz, Kayla Presley and Mia Renaud, in addition to assistant coaches Vanessa Chorkawy and Stacy Carter.
The team will now prepare for provincials (April 28th-30th), travelling to Sturgeon Falls on (Sunday) April 2nd for a pair of exhibition games.