Both Mitchell Hepburn's boys and girls teams place second at the TVDSB Valley
AAA championships, while the Trudeau Voyaguers win bronze in AAA girls
Friday, November 30, 2018
By Rob J. Ross
LONDON, ON. - It is double silver for Mitchell Hepburn Mustangs' volleyball.
Both the boys and girls' teams are bringing home silver medals from the Thames Valley District School Board AAA Valley championships.
The Mustang boys lost a pair of close games to Lambeth, 25-20, 26-24, in the final, at Oakridge Secondary school.
The Lady Mustangs were edged by London Kensall Park, two games to one in their final, at Lucas Secondary school.
Mitchell Hepburn earned a spot in the boys' final by going 4-2 in their pool, followed by a two game sweep of Jack Chambers in the semifinals. In their pool, the Mustangs defeated London Northridge, 25-12, 25-18 and split with both London White Oaks (15-25, 25-18) and Lambeth (17-25, 25-9).
A year ago at Valleys, the Mustangs didn't advance from pool play, making that their 2018 goal after winning the TVDSB SouthWest regional defeating Southwold, on November 26th.
"It was our tenacity to persevere through difficult matches and our setters really taking control of the game, setting up opportunities for our big swings in the front row," Mustangs' coach Jen Morland said. "This is our third time to Valleys and that was our goal to make it here (final). To make it this far is incredible. We have a lovely group of boys who were hard working and determined the entire way."
In both games in the final, the Mustangs had early leads but Lambeth went on short runs to gain the advantage.
"Definitely the (Lambeth's) set out of the middle made it a little bit more challenging because we weren't used to that and we had to work around that," Mustangs' coach Marr said. "It's a very emotional game. Sometimes when the boys let that emotion get to them, it can kind of pull them down. But overall how they came together as a team is incredible. I'm proud of them on how the way they finished off."
In the girls' final, Kensal Park took a thriller 22-25, 26-24, 15-12, avenging a loss to Mitchell Hepburn in pool play. The Lady Mustangs won their pool and defeated London Gabriel Dumont in the semifinals.
"Match to match, our girls were consistent and strong. They served well and slowed the game down by playing controlled, offensive volleyball. More than any team we have coached before, they worked together to stay positive, cheerful, and supportive of each other," Mustangs' coach Carrie Fish said. "After beating Kensal Park in the pool play, it was a tough loss in the finals. Kensal Park played really well and in the end, their tough serving was too difficult for us to pass during that third game."
The Lady Mustangs won the TVDSB SouthWest AA title to advance to Valleys.
"The season was an amazing success. This team was full of strong athletes, but more importantly outstanding girls," added Fish. "All 12 of these Mustangs worked hard at every practice and showed so much growth. They enjoyed playing together and we enjoyed coaching them."
Voyageurs win bronze medal
Trudeau (pictured on left) won the bronze medal match defeating Gabriel Dumont, two games to none.
"The girls were able to serve and receive very consistently and they never quit no matter what adversity they faced," coach Dennis Dlouhy said. "We won despite the fact that we were missing half of our team including two starters. Girls with very little experience stepped up their game and just seemed to want it a little bit more than Gabriel Dumont. I am VERY proud of them."
Kensall Park edged the Voyageurs, two games to one during the semifinals.
"While we beat Kensal Park in the first set, they came out with a vengeance in the second with 2-3 hot servers for which we had no answer," Dlouhy said. "Our passing, which served us well up to that point, fell a bit short of the mark. The third set was much like the second and we just couldn't catch up."
In pool play, Trudeau defeated Roch Carrier, 2-0 and split with both Jack Chambers and Gabriel Dumont, to finish first with a 4-2 record.
Also in boys' AAA action, the Southwold Cougars were eliminated after pool play.
Both the New Sarum Huskies and West Nissouri Wildfire, out of Thorndale, didn't move on from pool play at the girls' A tournament, at Clarke Road secondary school.
New Sarum defeated West Nissouri, but lost to London Cleardale and London Mountsfield, the eventual girls' A champions.
In the boys' A tournament, the Aldborough Bobcats weren't able to advance out of their pool.