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Club News Story
 

A real team effort to bring home the bronze medal

2017 / 02 / 03

On Saturday January 21, 2017 we travelled to St-Lambert and the beautiful facility at College Durocher to compete in the 17U Invitation Essor-Volleyball Quebec Division 1. There were nine teams in this tournament and we had either competed against or seen four of these teams earlier in the season in Sherbrooke. Prior to the tournament we were holding out hope that if we finished top 4 this weekend we would be able to compete as one of four representatives of Quebec in the Ontario/Quebec Series being hosted by the OVA at the University of Ottawa. Playing at home against Ontario’s top four 17U teams, the Calgary Dinos 17s and the Winnipeg Shock 17s would have been an incredible experience. Unfortunately that was not meant to be as we are not a team registered in Quebec we were unable to represent Quebec. We were hoping that we had extra motivation to excel but it was not meant to be.

Being 2 hours away some of us had the luxury of sleeping in our own beds the night before and travelling the morning of the tournament. Our Quebec tournaments allow us to work through rotations and line-ups to help us with our OVA season and having it so close is just a bonus.

We opened the tournament with a straight sets victory over the Citadins de Vaudreuil (25-14 and 25-20) followed by another straight two set victory over the Chimeres du Lac St-Louis (25-9 and 25-11). Our next two matches were against two teams that had a mixture of 16U and 17U aged athletes. First up was the Impact de Durocher (who would represent Quebec at the Ontario/Quebec Series and finished 6th) they are a very physical team that played a style very similar to what we are used to in Ontario. They liked to trade shot for shot and mixed in the traditional Quebec strong defensive style. The two sets were by far the most entertaining matches of the morning for our parents and spectators to watch and for us to compete in (26-24 and 25-21).

Our final match of round robin was against a familiar foe in Libellules de Joliette who had beaten us for bronze at the 15U Canada East Championships last year and edged us out in Sherbrooke earlier this season. As pure as the match was against the Impact this match was a unorothox for us to play. We simply cannot figure out this team nor are we able to synch our block to their rhythm or pace of play. We were completely outplayed in the first set losing 14-25 and started to figure them out in the second set but just could not close it out losing 21-25, although the score was respectable in the second set we scored a bunch of points late in a match that they once again controlled.

The top two teams in the two pools would qualify for the championship bracket and that had us the second place finisher playing the Attaque de Trois-Rivieres who finished first in the other pool. This team handed us a pretty lopsided defeat in Sherbrooke in November. They are a physical team that played a very high level of volleyball, which suited us well given that we had just played Libellules in the previous match. We competed much better than we did in November this time coming short 21-25 and 18-25. Overall the two teams exchanged some excellent rallies and the advantage that the Attaque had at the beginning of the season has definitely narrowed.

In the bronze medal match we were able to come out ahead 25-15 and 25-21.

We ventured from the conventional practice of playing up an age group in Ontario and thought we should try playing in Quebec this season mainly due to the proximity of travel. We continue to learn and experience new playing styles that will only help us to get better when we compete against Ontario’s top teams at 16U. We are able to rotate through two line-ups giving everyone playing experience and testing our limits to prepare ourselves for the remainder of the season.

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