Central Elgin defeats first place Dorchester in thrilling five game final
to capture the TVRA South-East 1-A junior girls volleyball title
March 10, 2022
By Rob J. Ross
DORCHESTER, Ont. - An undefeated record wasn't going to faze the Central Elgin Titans.
Coming in as underdogs, the Titans were facing the Lord Dorchester Beavers, the first place finishers in junior girls volleyball, for the Thames Valley Region Athletics 1-A South-East division.
Dorchester did not drop one game througout the regular season and had defeated Central Elgin twice.
However in the final, the Titans rose to the occasion, taking a thrilling best of five match, 27-25, 25-19, 22-25, 12-25, 15-11, at Lord Dorchester Secondary school.
"We had to come in with a good mentality even though they beat us twice that we can still beat them and we're a great team," Titans' captain Emma Westbrook said. "We had stay positive the whole game and that's what got us the win."
The Titans gave notice they were ready to play winning games one and two.
"Serves were a big thing for us. Once we got the ball over in every game things kept rolling," said Westbrook, adding the team was somewhat surprised being up two games to none.
The Beavers then showed why they finished a top the standings, by winning the next two games, including game four, by 13 points.
Instead of the tent collapsing, the Titans strengthened their footing.
"Our coaches were actually telling jokes. It definitely gave us a boost," said Westbrook, on what was discussed at the Titan bench prior to game five. "It was staying positive and working as a team. We got down a bit but once we back in the groove we worked together and we won the game."
Dorchester coach Bruce Dalke felt perhaps nerves of a home crowd, the first game of the season with spectators may have affected his team.
"It seems we were stuck with jitters. We were making mistakes at a very untypical rate," said Dalke. "We were riddled with uncertainty and it kind of was we needed more experience to get through that."
Dalke pointed out the Titans' strengths on the day.
"Central Elgin's defence was really good. They were picking up a lot of stuff," Dalke said. "The best part of them was their passing. Their passing really stepped up. They were way better than any of the times we'd seen them before."
The Beavers' coach praised his players for sticking with their game.
"I was proud of the level of volleyball that we were trying to do. We were still in system volleyball," said Dalke. "There's a lot promise in this grade group. Their level of dedication was really high given the stopping and starting (in the schedule due to COVID pauses)."
Arriving as underdogs, Westbrook and her Titan teammates were leaving the court champions.
"Feels great, almost on top of the world right now," Westbrook said. "I feel excited and jumpy."
(More images on Instagram - hometownplay)