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Sunday, May. 19, 2019
A much better start to the day for 16U Chill
by Randy Pascal

The Northern Chill 16U girls might not have yet reached a final four tournament showing, but their upward trajectory is nothing if not encouraging. Coach Sheldon Root and company finished with a .500 mark for the first time this season, chalking up a pair of victories in McGregor Cup – Trillium “C” tournament play last month in Brampton.

The Chill bucked their season-long trend of struggling with road legs out of the gate, taking down the Barrie Elites HP 25-22, 25-20 in their opening encounter, and still showing well against the eventual gold medal winning Venom Vipers 15U girls from Richmond Hill, in spite of a 15-25, 22-25 loss to close out pool play.

A tough draw would cause the Sudbury girls to slide directly from facing the top team to tackling the silver medal recipients, beaten 25-18, 25-20 by the Thundercats Rage, also from Richmond Hill, in quarter-final action.

Closing out the day with the chance to secure fifth place in a field of nine teams, the Northern Chill did just that, outlasting the Reach Aspire (Markham) 27-25, 25-27, 15-10. “We had a much better start to the day compared to previous tournaments,” noted coach Root. “The girls not only managed the ball well on our side of the court, but put other teams under pressure when transitioning to offense.”

“In our cross-over against the Thundercats, although we did not come away with a win, the girls pushed back, instead of conceding. That was a win in my eyes.” On an individual basis, Root highlighted the play of a pair of Chill veterans. “Maggy Davidson had one of the hardest hits of the day from an out of system set, something we have been working on a lot with the girls.”

“Instead of playing it safe and giving away a free ball, she gave herself the best angle possible, took a strong approach and hit with the intent to score. Julianna Toppazzini continues to show strong leadership on the court,” added Root. “Effective from the serving line and on offense, she can add “passing specialist” to her resume now as well.”

“In tough situations, I am confident she will rise to the occasion.”

Joining Toppazzini and Davidson in that challenge are 2018-2019 teammates Isabelle Scratch, Sydney Nicholls, Emily Ayotte, Fyscher McQueen, Kyla-Sky Parsons, Hannah Nordquist, Faith Charbonneau, Josée Beauchamp and Danielle Stinson, along with head coach Sheldon Root and assistant coach Stacy Carter.

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