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One point at a time spells success for the Smashers
2022-03-23
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Seeded fourth in a nine-team event, slotted in the same pool as the #3 seed, the Northern Chill 15U Smashers fully expected battles to the very end to be the order of the day, competing in Bugarski Cup – Championship C play in Niagara Falls.

They were definitely not disappointed – nor did they disappoint.

Fighting tooth and nail from start to finish, the Smashers returned home as bronze medal winners, coming within a hair of advancing to the championship final and ensuring themselves gold or silver at the single day event.

The tone for the tournament was set early, as the Sudbury girls swept a pair of close matches with the Milton Edge Fierce (25-23, 25-18) and then splitting their two game set with Titans Olympus from Toronto (25-23, 24-26).

The three set victories were enough to secure first place, setting up a quarter-final match with the KW (Kitchener-Waterloo) Preds Embrace, the northern crew full measure for a 25-19, 25-19 triumph.

Their spot in the final four safely tucked away, the Chill crew looked for more, taking the Maverick Ambush from Ottawa to the limit, dropping a three-set nail-biter 25-19, 15-25, 14-16 in the semis.

The Smashers were not about to come home empty-handed, however, closing off the day as they started it, taking two straight from the Milton Edge Fierce, 25-22, 25-11, and earning their third place finish in the process.

“Our focus going into this tournament was to be better servers, passers and defenders,” noted head coach Guy Perreault. “We also adopted the mentality that the game is always 0-0, regardless of where we are in the game. We believe this has allowed the girls to focus on that one point and not get ahead of themselves.”

“We have good setters and hitters, but not having that pass in system makes it harder for our setters to be consistent,” he added. “We did much better at this tournament than we had at the previous ones.”

Individually, Perreault highlighted the overall game of Anna Houle this past weekend. “She is a girl who works hard at every practice and listens to the coaches’ feedback – and executes. Seeing this hard work come together was exciting as a coach.”

Now in her fourth year with the club, Emma Perreault has displayed that knack of being a go-to player. “She has the ability to be a leader,” noted her father-coach. “Her timely defense throughout the tournament and hitting ability has given us a chance to one that one key point.”

Rounding out the 2021-2022 Northern Chill 15U Smashers roster are Abby Laurin, Andrea Bernard, Kaylee Seguin, Olivia Nicholls, Olivia Lascelle, Ella Dionne, Reece Crane, Selina Sauve, Ava Massimiliano, Kaylee Lavallee and assistant coach Melina Ralph.

Greater Sudbury Soccer Club