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A very impressive start for coach Beausoleil and company

It would take exactly one weekend of OCAA (Ontario College Athletic Association) regular season play for the Dale Beausoleil era of men's volleyball at Cambrian College to show signs of progress.

With no more than two match victories to their credit over the course of the past half dozen years or so, the Cambrian Shield had struggled to find themselves competitive against opponents other than their crosstown rivals, the Collège Boréal Vipères.

And while it took one match to settle themselves in, the locals did manage to earn a split on the road in their opening weekend of play.

Not easing into the 2021-2022 schedule in the least, the Shield found themselves pitted against the Redeemer Royals last Friday, the #2 ranked team in the province.

A 25-11 opening set loss might have panicked some, but not coach Beausoleil, who settled his team to bounce back with a much better effort in the final two sets, though still swept aside by scores of 25-22 and 27-25.

Clearly, that was encouragement enough for the local lads who went toe to toe with the Niagara Thunder the very next day, earning a 3-0 victory of their own by scores of 25-22, 25-21, 25-20.

The Cambrian starting six featured Jack Daley, Stephen Brown, Miguel Levac, Kurtis Brisebois, Jason Diotte and Sven Trodel, along with libero David Pigozzo.

"It took the boys a set to get used to the tough jump serves from Redeemer," said Beausoleil. "The second and third sets were much better. The boys played well against Niagara; we had a big game from Stephen Brown."

Things were even more encouraging for the Cambrian women who started the season 2-0 with a pair of victories in the Niagara peninsula.

Cambrian and Redeemer went five sets, with the visitors prevailing 19-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-17, 15-10, with a little less time needed in game two on the road, a 25-17, 25-20, 25-15 triumph over Niagara.

For her efforts, Cambrian veteran Isabelle Rivest was named OCAA Female Athlete of the Week, joined in the starting rotation by Jordan Phillips, Katie Albert, Brielle Chicoine, Sophie Gaffney and Lauren Jeanneault.

"This is an outstanding start to their season," stated coach Beausoleil. "It has been a long time since we have defeated either one of these teams."

Sudbury Wolves