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Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2019
Sudbury Select Surprises for 14U Chill
by Randy Pascal

In the grand scheme of things, survival and acclimatization must come before excellence. That could have easily been the mantra of the Northern Chill 14U – Black girls volleyball team, making their first foray into the Select grouping of OVA (Ontario Volleyball Association) tournament play as they hosted the McGregor Cup last month.

Results were somewhat mixed, as the local youngsters adapted to the increased level of competition, splitting their morning pool play with a 21-25, 11-25 loss at the hands of the Storm Tsunami (Aurora), but outlasting the Titans Crius (Etobicoke) 25-13, 16-25, 15-11 in game two.

Unfortunately, a second place finish in Pool “A” would mean a quarter-final match-up with the #1 seed from Pool “C”, the Chill not quite ready just yet to fully challenge the eventual silver medal winning team, as the Phoenix Rise (Toronto) bounced the Chill 25-5, 25-22.

But with their spot in the Select bracket on the line (as the bottom three are relegated), the Sudbury girls prevailed for a second time opposite the Titans Crius, once again emerging triumphant in three sets (25-22, 22-25, 15-3).

“The day was up and down, but this was our best morning so far,” noted head coach Denny Chicoine. “Usually we're not a morning team. After lunch, we may have been a little sleepy – it wasn't our best game. But I was happy it did not keep us down, we actually came back.”

As one might expect with the promotion to a higher division, there is an element of “deer in the headlights” for the young northern girls. “The serves are coming at them a lot tougher, a lot harder and a lot faster,” said Chicoine. “That gave us some problems, just getting the ball control out of the serve receive.”

“We need to improve on our serve receive so that we can run the attack.”

And after highlighting the bulk of the remainder of the roster in previous events, it was time for the coach to heap a little praise much closer to home this time around.

“I like how she (,b>Alexie Chicoine) kept her head level the whole day,” said dad and coach. “Even with the up and down games, she always played to her level. She was really being aggressive, just never giving up on any balls.”

The team returns to action on Saturday, February 16th in Newmarket, site of the Bugarski Cup – Select “C” playdowns.

The 2018-2019 version of the Northern Chill 14U - Black team encompasses Macy-Taylor Gosselin, Siobhan Noble-Poland, Michelle Scratch, Allison Nordquist, Kameryn Van Wallegham, Ashley Ruddick, Annie Simon and Alexie Chicoine.

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