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Chill Black Vortex return to 16U play for Bugarski Cup at end of the month
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Supplementing the standard OVA (Ontario Volleyball Association) tournament schedule within your own age class with an event or two at the next rung of the ladder is not terribly unusual for countless volleyball clubs across the province – especially for higher end teams boasting young athletes hopeful of playing at the next level.

The Northern Chill 16U Black Vortex tick both of those boxes – all of which made for a very busy two week stretch recently. Seeded first entering the McGregor Cup – Championship B playdown in Newmarket at the end of January, the Sudbury crew overcame one scare in the morning, making their way to the afternoon gold medal game.

Unfortunately, a 22-25, 16-25 loss to Defensa Purple from Burlington forced the locals to settle for silver on a day in which they finished 8-2 in their sets record. Outscoring both the Titans Hera from Scarborough (25-16, 25-18) and the Milton Edge Rush (28-26, 27-25) early in the day set the stage for a favourable quarter-final matchup.

The Black Vortex steamrolled the Storm Twister from Aurora (25-12, 25-18), looking nearly as comfortable in beating the Lakeside Aquila from Oakville in the semis, 25-15, 25-23. A week later, the team was in Woodbridge, site of the 17U Girls McGregor Cup – Championship B tournament (along with the Northern Chill 17U Smashers).

The Black Vortex opened their day on a winning note, sweeping past the hometown Unity Shock (26-24, 25-17) and then taking the #1 seeded Pakmen Black from Mississauga to three sets, beaten 25-19, 19-25, 5-15 to finish second in Pool A.

Following their established trend at this event, the Chill went the distance in quarter-final play, bumped down to the consolation side following a 16-25, 25-21, 11-15 loss at the hands of the Titans Arson (Scarborough). Ending the day the same place they started, the northern entry vanquished the Unity Shock 12-25, 25-18, 15-9 to slide into a tie for fifth place.

The Northern Chill 17U Smashers also finished second in their Pool (C), dropping their quarter-final match to Defensa Purple (19-25, 21-25) and a consolation clash with Pakmen Black (14-25, 25-16, 11-15), leaving the team tied for seventh with the Unity Shock.

The 2023-2024 edition of the Northern Chill 16U Black Vortex roster congregates the skill sets of Mya Balfe, Ellie Renaud, Maili Jutila, Isabelle Renaud, Madison Paris, Nyah Robinson, Cate Verlaan, Isabella Sooley, Isabella MacIsaac and Lilah Selby, along with head coach Paul Renaud, assistant coach Tammy Jutila and team manager Jennifer Selby.

The Vortex are back in action on (Sunday) February 25th, travelling to Uxbridge once again, this time for Bugarski Cup – Select C tournament play.

Palladino Subaru