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Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2019
Cote and company take Golden Shield to four sets
by Randy Pascal

It's been a few years since Josée Côté last suited up for the Collège Boréal Vipères women's volleyball team. The signs of progress that are being shown under new head coach Frank Legault are just part of the reason that the 23 year old second year student in the Agriculture Technician program decided to return after an absence of a handful of seasons.

“I continued playing volleyball, just in rec leagues, but I kept it in my heart,” said Côté, a day after the Vipères took the Cambrian Golden Shield to four tough sets before dropping a 16-25, 27-29, 25-14, 22-25 decision on home court last week.

“I came back to school and (Athletic Director) Andréa (Boyce) remembered that I had played. She convinced to tryout, and I though, why not. It would help me keep in shape and give me that intensity of the game into my life again. I'm only 23, but I'm still the oldie-goldie on the team.”

Acknowledging the presence of a very young team, a squad which includes six OCAA rookies and another seven second year players, Côté says that having someone with the demeanour of coach Legault on the sidelines certainly helps the on-court performance.

“It's nice to have somebody who can keep his cool,” she said. “He knows what we're capable of, and we know what we're capable of, so he gets us into that zone to do what we need to do.”

Not that “getting into the zone” was all that difficult with their Sudbury rivals on the opposite bench. “We were ready to bring it, our competitiveness was there,” said Côté. “The mentality was this is our gym, let's win a set, let's win the game. We were more focused, more aggressive as the game went on.”

Despite their 0-9 record, the Vipères are still looking forward to the second half of the campaign, continually working on those key facets that could ultimately bring them victory.

“We've been practicing a lot on serve receive and defense, calling the ball, communication in general, and just making sure that the ball doesn't hit the ground,” said Côté. “We've started practicing more with our blocking, making sure to get up there and get those huge blocks in.”

“I think we have finished off this semester at a good point, so we're excited to bring our focus for the following semester coming up.”

Maurissa Ducharme paced the Boréal attack with 12 kills, with Jasmine Gagnon adding nine and Côté and Megan Hicks at four and three respectively. Joëlle Proulx showed the way defensively, registering nine digs, with Myriam Bouffard and Gagnon next in line with five.

Boréal kicks off the 2019 portion of their schedule with three straight home game, facing the Redeemer Royals (January 11th), Niagara Knights (January 12th) and Mohawk Mountaineers (January 18th).

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