It would take until the playoff round of the 6v6 Girls Challenge Cup (Trillium E) for the Northern Chill 13U Heat Wave to really get hot – but once they did, there was simply no cooling these girls off.
Following an up and down performance in the morning that left the Sudbury squad sitting in third place in a pool of four with a record of 3-3, the locals went on a tear in the afternoon last weekend in Barrie, emerging as gold medal winners in a very long day.
The team opened with a split opposite the North Bay Lakers Rapids (21-25, 25-23), dropped a pair to the Barrie Elites Hurricanes (17-25, 23-25), but swept aside the PVC Power from Simcoe County, 25-16, 25-14.
Ironically, their round robin standing would bring the Heat Wave face to face with fellow Chill teammates as the eventual tournament champs bested the Northern Chill Black Ice 25-16, 25-8. The victory pushed coach Tanis Van Wallegham and company into the quarter-finals where they outlasted the (North Bay) Vision Sharks 18-25, 25-17, 15-10.
Off to the semi-finals and the second of three consecutive three set matches as the Heat Wave sent the North Bay Loch Ness Lakers to the depths of the lagoon with a 25-23, 16-25, 15-7 victory. The pattern remained the same in the final as the Chill drop the opening set to the PVC Bolts, 22-25, but storm back to take the next two, 25-18, 15-5.
“This was a whole team effort,” said Van Wallegham. “The improvement in the past five months has been amazing.”
On this particular day, the bench boss noted, in particular, the contributions of Brinley Evans (for her smart front row play and big attacks), Maya Chretien (for her strong serving and passing) and Olivia Cormier (for her blocking and consistency on the court), though every single player on the roster was worthy of mention.
Rounding out the Northern Chill 13U Heat Wave roster are BreeLynn Strickland, Kaiyah Hasner, Morgan Gauvreau, Adrienne Young, Danika Drolet, Kendra Vanwallegham, Hailey Villeneuve, Elie Lopes, Julia Moulaison and assistant coach Bree Edwards.