Link to live streaming results included
“Every game we hit, we won.”
That was coach Ryan Bryk’s assessment of the AHS senior boys volleyball team, which earned a spot at the all-Ontario championships by defeating the Manitouwadge HS Wolverines and Dennis Franklin Cromarty HS Thunder Hawks here last week.
The Vs balanced attack proved to be too much for the Wolverines, an excellent defensive team with one or two solid hitters. But with Duncan Wright (14 kills in the final match), Liam Manford (9), Ryan Zygmunt and Bryce Johnson (8 each) pounding the ball, the Vs overwhelmed Manitouwadge HS 25-21, 25-22, 25-15 in the NWOSSAA final. Scott Jordan and the alternating pair of Dusty Desserre and Peter Kerr rounded out the starting six in the final. To their credit, the Wolverines turned in a championship effort, battling the Vs every step of the way.
It will be the Voyageurs first trip to the OFSAA championships since 2005. All four senior boys championships (A through quad A; AHS is an A school) are being held in Mississauga Thursday and Friday, with the medal games Saturday at McMaster University. Twenty teams are competing in the A championship, including Kenora’s St. Thomas Aquinas Saints, who have won the Ontario title each of the past two seasons.
At press time, the seeding for the championship was yet to be set, so V game times there were unknown. Follow their progress at the championship web site, which can be reached from www.ofsaa.on.ca.
The Vs rolled over the Thunder Hawks Thursday morning, 25-3, 25-13 and 25-10. When the Wolverines did the same later that day, it drained the championship meaning out of the final round-robin match between the Vs and Wolverines Thursday night. But knowing they would be playing an all-or-nothing match Friday morning, neither team was in any mood to back down. The Vs won an entertaining five-game match, 18-25, 25-13, 23-25, 25-14, 15-5.
“I think we were a little over-confident coming in,” said Bryk. The Vs did step up their play after the first game loss, particularly their hitting.
Actually, Manitouwadge might be the fourth best A team in the Northwest. The turning point for the Vs season came in the NorWOSSA semi-finals November 9, where they faced Red Lake HS. The Rams had beaten the Vs twice during the regular season, in very close matches. But in the playoffs, the Vs got excellent team play, and when first-year player Liam Manford stepped up his hitting and blocking game, their front-line found an impressive consistency.
After dropping the first game to Red Lake, 21-25, the Vs rolled to three straight wins (25-17, 25-18 and 25-23) to advance to the final. Win or lose there, against the TA Saints, the Vs were going to have to go through an NWOSSAA series to advance to OFSAA – as defending provincial champs, the Saints already had a berth sewn up.
Live streaming results
V’s OFSAA schedule:
*Thursday, 2pm, Msg De Chrabonnel
7:30pm Holy Trinity
*Friday, 9:30 am, Durham Christian
* live streamed
(For link, go to www.ofsaa.on.ca/boysAvolleyball/