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Sunday, Jul. 22, 2018
16U girls show just how far they have come
2018-03-14
by Randy Pascal

Good News: The Northern Chill 16U girls cemented their spot within the OVA Championship bracket at their latest tournament last month in Sturgeon Falls, displaying some impressive improvement since an early season showcase in that same division.

Bad News: It still wasn't quite enough to secure some hardware, though head coach Sheldon Root is certainly not losing any sleep over it.

“Despite not coming home with a medal, this was a good day,” he said. “Not only did we compete with the top three teams, we know these girls have not hit their ceiling.”

The potential of what is still to come was evident right out of the gate as the Chill, seeded seventh, gave the #1 ranked Galaxy Jets (Toronto) all they could handle before succumbing 25-21, 18-25, 13-15. Clearly, the locals did not let a close loss upset them, rebounding with a 25-13, 25-16 sweep of the Ottawa Valley Vikings.

Game three was critical, in more ways than one. Not only would a win ensure a berth in a medal game later in the day, it would also allow the Chill to exact a little revenge opposite the Georgian Cubs (Barrie), the same squad that relegated them down a tier back in November. Different story this time around as the northern crew registered a 25-4, 23-25, 15-3 triumph.

The mental toll was apparent, however, in the semi-final, as the Sun – Eclipse from Orillia downed the Northern Chill 25-21, 25-13, before the locals answered with a much better effort in the bronze medal affair. The Chill took the Phoenix Blaze crew from Toronto to three hard fought sets, before settling for fourth place with a 25-16, 17-25, 10-15 setback.

“I knew that we had improved,” noted Root. “We were faster, smarter, more confident than we were before. But I wondered if these girls were ready to show how far they had come.” And to a person, the team of Katie Legros, Ayla Jones, Amelina Iturregui, Emma Squires, Symantha Welsh, Amy Connelly, Katie Staffen, Hailey Selk, Amber Jacques, Brielle Chicoine and Lauren Jeanneault did just that.

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