St. Marys win senior WOSSAA

  St. Marys heading back to OFSAA


    Defeat Woodstock CI in the WOSSAA 1A girls' volleyball final in four games

    to earn a spot at OFSAA for a third consecutive year


    Wednesday, February 20, 2019


  • WOSSAA senior volleyball
  • WOSSAA senior volleyball
  • WOSSAA senior volleyball
  • WOSSAA senior volleyball
  • WOSSAA senior volleyball
  • WOSSAA senior volleyball
  • WOSSAA senior volleyball


By Rob J. Ross 

DORCHESTER - The St. Marys Salukis are returning to OFSAA for a third consecutive year.

A three games to one victory over the Woodstock CI Red Devils in the WOSSAA single-A senior girls' volleyball gold medal match, gave the Salukis a berth at the provincial high school championship, March 4-6, in Kenora.

"That's the goal all year (OFSAA), but we've taken it in steps," St. Marys DCVI coach Ruthann Waldick said. "We play strong defence. We try to work on serving strong, but our offence is our strong suit. Not many teams block our hitters. When we're serving strong, that can put a team back on their heels."

St. Marys jumped out to a two games to none lead, winning 25-20, 25-11, before WCI responded with a 25-21 effort. The Salukis pulled out a 25-19 decisive win, after trailing 10-6 and 15-12 earlier in the set.

A defensive play by Stacey Shackleton in the back court spurred the rally for St. Marys in the decisive game.

"Stacey had a really good dig and from that point on we hung on," Salukis captain Abbey Thorup said. "They (WCI) were serving really well and we had to just relax on serve receive. Pass it high to the middle and run our offence from the outsides."

Having played at OFSAA helps when a team is aiming a return to the tournament.

"Especially in a tight match, the experience is what really pulls you through," said Waldick. "Everyone contributes. Our bench is really loud and supplies energy to the floor."

St. Marys tied Stratford Central for best regular season record in the Huron-Perth Conference, at 9-1, before winning the playoff title over Stratford St. Mike's.

Thorup is one of five players who remain from the 2017 OFSAA gold medal team, along with Emma Bryans, Aimee King, Robyn Lewis and Nathalie Bettger. Eight are back from last season that ended in a loss in the OFSAA bronze medal game.

"We're a really good attacking team but it only comes when we're passing really well. When we're on, we're also a really good serving team," said Thorup, who is as deadly with her serves as she is hitting for points from the left side.

In the semifinals, St. Marys rolled Parkhill North Middlesex, 25-8, 25-19, 25-4, while WCI got by London District Christian, 22-25, 25-12, 25-23, 25-19.

London District Christian took home the bronze medal, defeating North Middlesex, 25-13, 5-25, 25-11.

St. Marys also defeated WCI, in the WOSSAA single-A final for senior girls' basketball in November.

This August, Thorup heads to the University of Alabama, a Division I school, in Birmingham, for beach volleyball. Last summer, Thorup and partner Iris Fletcher won gold at Volleyball Canada's Beach 18-U Nationals.

Fletcher is a former partner of Parkside CI graduate Ally Carr, who is in her second year at the University of New Orleans for beach volleyball.