Westside juniors claim CWOSSA volleyball championship

November 24, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

For the first time in the school’s history, the Westside Secondary School Thunder junior boys volleyball team have claimed the CWOSSA boys AA championship.

The championship tournament was held in Simcoe, Ontario on November 15 / 16, and featured eight District championship teams battling it out for the CWOSSA title.

The team earned the right to go to the regional championship after finishing in second place in the District 4 standings then fighting their way through the playoffs to win over Norwell District Secondary School in the final match winning their sets 3-1 on November 9.

The squad had a rough start in CWOSSA opening day round-robin competition when they gave up a loss to St. Mary’s High School from Owen Sound.

However the team rallied and won their next two matches to finish in second place in Pool A competition.

The round-robin competition was divided into two pools with two teams from each pool advancing to a berth in the final round.

After completing the first day of competition the teams returned for the second day in an all or nothing quest for the title.

Westside found themselves up against Bishop Macdonell from Guelph.

The Thunder won the match in two sets to advance to the final game.

In the final they found themselves up against St. Mary’s – the team that beat them in the opening game.

“We were defending champions in District 4 so we won that for the second year in a row. Sometimes the players put a lot pressure on themselves and this year they have grown so much (as a team) they turned that pressure into a positive. If they make a mistake they move and don’t let it become another one,” said coach Jessica Short.

The Westside junior team has six grade ten players and three grade nine players. Several of the team members have experience playing in volleyball leagues outside of school

“At CWOSSA it was round-robin in our pool. We went 2-1 in the first round which meant we could go to the second day semi-finals. As the second team in Pool A we play the first team in Pool B,” Ms. Shortt explained, adding that the boys were able to regroup and focus after being down a few points. “The first set in the final they lost, they were down 7-0. I called a time-out and brought them in and said ‘this score doesn’t matter.’ One game in the round robin we were down 22-11 and they came back and tied up so I knew they could come back. They were getting frustrated because a good server had gotten seven points on them.”

The boys took the advice and returned to the court determined to get back into the game.

After losing the first set 25-23 to St. Mary’s, the Thunder finished off the match winning three sets in the best-of-five series to claim the CWOSSA championship.

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