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Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019
Volleyball news and views from Cambrian College
by Cambrian Varsity Athletics

Another year of varsity volleyball at Cambrian College is in the books.

After posting a record of 6-12 in regular season play and settling into seventh place in the West Division of the OCAA, the Golden Shield women’s team drew the top seed from the East come first round playoff action.

That matchup would prove costly, in spite of the general dominance of the West versus the East come post-season time. Unfortunately, the 16-2 Loyalist Lancers were just a little too much for coach Dale Beausoleil and the Cambrian crew to handle, falling in three sets by scores of 26-28, 19-25 and 17-25.

Hayley Chisholm and Amanda Kring provided a solid one-two punch offensively for the locals, recording ten and nine kills respectively, with Isabelle Rivest (5) and Jillian Vallier (4) also chipping in from time to time.

Sara Piana was a monster at the net for the winners, topping all attackers with 16 kills, with teammate Hannah Dossett next in line with ten. Such is the strength within the division in which Cambrian competes that the Shield were the only West team to taste defeat in their cross-over game, with Humber, Fanshawe, St Clair, Sheridan, Mohawk and Niagara all moving on to provincials.

While Cambrian featured a good, solid veteran roster this year, the absence of a consistent “go to” threat made things difficult against the OCAA elite. While Jillian Vallier led the way this year, averaging three points per set for the Shield, her stats would slide the Lasalle Secondary graduate into 22nd place overall among the league leaders.

In fact, every single team that qualified for provincials, with the exception of Sheridan, had at least two players who finished among the top twenty in overall production. The playoff loss marks the end of the line for 5th year Cambrian veteran Hayley Chisholm, with at least a couple of others still question marks heading into the 2018-2019 campaign.

As for the Cambrian men, a playoff berth was not to be as the Golden Shield managed only to register a season sweep of the Collège Boréal Vipères into the win column in a 2-16 campaign. In fact, the only other set they would take throughout the entire season came back in October, with the Niagara Knights in town.

Given the youth on the roster that Tom Sutton worked with over the past six months, this could not possibly qualify as a complete surprise. With 3.3 points per set, veteran Lucas Claveau more than doubled his nearest competitors in terms of team offensive honours, with Mitchell Reid (1.5), Taylor Cafley (1.1) and Scott Williams (1.0) all well back.

In fact, the 143 kills that were recorded by Claveau nearly equaled the output of the remainder of the roster combined (177), with very similar numbers holding true, even in terms of total attack attempts. With no less than nine players seeing action for the Cambrian men in at least 20 sets this year (Claveau, Reid, Cafley, Williams, Cole Krassey, Mike Aiabens, Brennen Chaput, Curtis Swereda and Eric Williams), the Shield are hopeful that the time and effort invested this year will pay dividends come the fall.

Still with Cambrian volleyball, we recently enjoyed the chance to catch up a little with former Golden Shield men’s coach Pat Kerton (1984-1989), with the retired high school teacher and avid traveler now enjoying time in South Africa.

A native of Sault Ste Marie, Kerton’s primary sporting background while attending Sir James Dunn Secondary School involved football and basketball. It wasn’t until he moved to the Sudbury area and enrolled at Confederation Secondary for his final years of high school that he was introduced to volleyball via well-known and long-time local coach Ed Millard.

Such was the amount to which he would take to his new love that Kerton progressed on to suit up with the Laurentian Voyageurs under head coach Kit Lefroy. Eventually completing his post secondary studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Kerton would return back to football, earning a Vanier Cup championship ring as a member of the Golden Gaels.

Following brief coaching stops in both Kingston (St Lawrence College) and in British Columbia, Kerton returned to Sudbury to guide the Cambrian women’s team, moving on to assist Lefroy with his former team for a pair of seasons at L.U.

When he switched back to Cambrian and the men’s program, the landscape of OCAA volleyball had changed somewhat, opening the door for some interesting development. “We started off small and relatively inexperienced, however something made the difference when forming a team at the college level,” Kerton recalled. “We were able to offer scholarships.”

“I still remember the first player I recruited,” he continued. “It was at my old school, Confederation, and the player’s name was Roger Chouinard from Iroquois Falls. Later, both his brother and cousin would join the team and we had a nucleus for years to come.”

“My last year (1988-89) was really a pinnacle team with the addition of all-star Brad Boudreau, who could do it all.” To this day, Kerton would admit that a decision the following year to give up his post at Cambrian in favour of head coaching duties at Laurentian University was a mistake. “It’s something I regretted for a long time.”

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