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Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2019
17U Chill to face Select company next month
2019-01-28
by Randy Pascal

A series of interim steps paved the way nicely for the Northern Chill 17U Girls, who achieved one of their season goals recently in Barrie. Following a silver medal performance to open the season in November, the locals continued to forge a path in the Championship Series, placing fifth in early December, but playing top teams right down to the wire.

“We had consistent play from outside hitter Katie Staffen, who provided a reliable option in passing, defence and offence throughout the day, as well as middle Erika Brown, a big part of the team's offence and blocking,” noted head coach Kevin Wiseman.

Back home for a mid-December 18U tournament, the young women rose to the occasion, finishing second overall, despite the absence of a few regulars. “With a depleted roster, the girls fought hard all day, winning a lot of close matches,” said Wiseman. “We had strong play from outside hitters Amber Jacques and Brielle Chicoine, who time and time again had clutch kills to win close games and help propel the team to silver medals.”

The recent McGregor Cup – Championship B tournament is when things really came together. After sweeping aside the host Georgian Cubs – Terror from Barrie (25-20, 25-10), the Chill outlasted the Ottawa Fusion 26-24, 23-25, 15-13 to secure first place in their pool.

The locals rode that momentum right into their quarter-final contest, easily disposing of the Maverick – Klondike from Ottawa, 25-17, 25-21. A semi-final match-up against an all-too-familiar opponent would see the Chill come from behind to take down the North Bay Lakers 15-25, 25-19, 15-7, earning their shot at gold.

And while the margin of victory per game was not substantial, back to back 25-23 victories would be enough to slide the Sudbury crew past the Durham Attack – Crimson, earning a promotion for their end of February tournament.

“I am so unbelievably proud of these girls,” said Wiseman. “Winning this tournament was an entire team effort. We had set a goal at the beginning of the season to move above the championship division prior to provincial championships in April.”

“Right side Lauren Jeanneault provided solid leadership and tough serving, each and every match, while setter Symantha Welsh ran a consistent, effective offence, making the right decisions and playing spectacular defence.”

Joining her in that category was libero Emma Squires, responsible for creating a consistent serve receive and defence that allowed the team to remain in system, throughout the tournament. Rounding out the roster that will make the jump next month are Samia Poulin, Amy Connelly and Amelina Iturregui.

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