The AHS Voyageurs turned the tables on the Manitouwadge Wolverines Friday, downing them in four sets in the decisive match of the NWOSSA championship.
The win earned the team a trip to the all-Ontario (OFSAA) championships – their first in ten years – in downtown Toronto this week. [CORRECTION: It’s their first trip to OFSAA in five years. In 2010, St. Thomas Aquinas won NorWOSSA, but did not contest for the NWOSSA title. As defending OFSAA champions, the Saints already had a spot in the OFSAA tournament. As NorWOSSA runner-up, AHS competed for, and won, the NWOSSA berth in the all-Ontario tournament.]
Last year, the Wolverines upset the Vs in Grayson Hall, so winning in Manitouwadge this year evened the score.
The Vs swept through the round-robin portion of the event, 25-10, 25-15, 25-17 over Lavernedrye and 25-13, 25-23, 25-15 over Manitouwadge on Thursday. But any thoughts of a sweep to the title were ended Friday morning, when Manitouwadge posted a hard-fought five set win. The deciding game went all the way to 21-19 before the Vs succumbed. (Total score for the five sets was 115-115 – 27-25, 23-25, 25-21, 19-25, 21-19.)
That set up the decisive match. The Vs lost the opener 25-15, but then swept the next three (25-13, 25-17, 25-19) to take the title.
Twenty teams from across the province, including Woodland Christian (Breslau), the defending champions, and Quinte Christian (Belleville; 2010, 2011, 2012 champs, 2014 bronze medallists), start playing Thursday morning. Each will play four matches in their five-team pool, with the top two teams from each advancing to the championship quarter finals. The matches will be live streamed at http://sportscanada.tv/ofsaa/.
Atikokan won the OFSAA title in 1997, the first NorWOSSA A school to achieve that distinction. St. Thomas Aquinas (Kenora) won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.
NWOSSA Champs Coach Ryan Bryk, Kyler Gannon, Parker Sampson, Grant Legaree, Drake Stevenson, Kade Arnone, Scott Williams, Head coach Brad Gascoigne; (front) Aiden Labossiere, Cole Krassey, Cole Mattson, Eric Williams