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Monday, Aug. 20, 2018
Golden Shield complete volleyball sweep of Boreal
by Randy Pascal

Already trying to overcome a lineup that is comprised almost entirely of first year OCAA talent, not to mention mixing in a brand new head coach into the fold, pretty much the last thing the Collège Boréal Vipères women’s volleyball team needed was the disruption of a strike to start off the 2017-2018 campaign.

Not that they are about to let these challenges deter them.

Rookie coach Karine Erven and her crew of eight displayed some encouraging resiliency, understanding the end goal in sight, despite dropping a 15-25, 18-25, 11-25 decision to the crosstown rival Cambrian Golden Shield Wednesday evening at home.

“The biggest thing for us is still serve receive,” said Erven, who stepped in the lead the women’s program after assisting her husband (Jamie) with the men’s squad these past few years. “When you’ve got a team, like Cambrian, that can serve tough, serve aces, that’s something we tried to key on.”

“But we’re not identifying fast enough,” Erven continued. “Who is serving, what are they serving, and now moving my feet. The reaction time is quite slow, they’re just not used to that.”

It’s precisely why the top end of collegiate teams enjoy the benefit that comes with a deeper roster, one that can ease their newcomers through the tough transition. Throw in a change of position and one can be downright overwhelmed.

“The intensity is a lot higher, you really have to think fast on your feet and move really quickly,” noted 19 year old Caroline Pellerin, a first year Electrical Engineering Technology student and graduate of Collège Notre-Dame. “In high school, I played middle, so you don’t get to pass very often. They have changed me to left side, so I’m always in the back, serve receiving. It can be a little challenging at times.”

Graduating from a school where volleyball enjoyed a prominent status, Maurissa Ducharme (Franco-Cité Patriotes – Sturgeon Falls) balanced her secondary school experience with five years as a member of the Northern Chill Volleyball Club.

While this background may have helped build a foundation, it also accentuated the difference in terms of the situation at Boréal. “I played with the same team in high school for four years,” explained Ducharme. “We were used to playing together, everything worked out. Coming here, with a new team, everything is new, and that’s harder to adjust to. But we have definitely come a long way.”

Savanna Legue would lead the Vipères, offensively, with seven kills, with Ducharme added four, while Emily Clark (7), Jillian Vallier (7), Amanda Kring (6), Hayley Chisholm (5) and Isabelle Rivest (4) showed the way for a well-balanced Cambrian attack.

The second half of the double-header nearly produced the first Boréal volleyball win since January 2016, as the Vipères men’s team pushed the Golden Shield right to the limit before succumbing by a final score of 25-23, 21-25, 18-25, 25-20, 13-15.

Michel Ayotte (11 kills), Nathan Rehner (7) and Justin Lamontagne (5) helped to keep Boréal close, from start to finish, while the Shield relied heavily on their one-two punch of Lucas Claveau (17 kills) and Mitchell Reid (7).

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