If there is a benefit to fielding a relatively small team, it surely lies in the ability of the coaching staff to devote even more time than usual to each individual athlete.
When it comes to the College Boreal Viperes badminton crew, no single player appeared to leverage the additional learnings better than Emilie Roy. Displaying potential beyond the wildest imaginations of those who follow the team, Roy qualified for provincial championship in ladies singles play, earning a fourth place finish against far more experienced opposition.
"I knew she had a good chance at moving on, but she far surpassed our expectations," noted Boreal coach Mike Dionne after Roy translated an undefeated day of play at regionals into a silver medal performance.
While the men's doubles team of Fabian Martel and Jon Boucher failed to hit the win column, their ability to keep up with much stronger teams was a victory in and of itself, according to Dionne.
Moving on to the OCAA championships, Roy once again provided a more than solid account of herself, posting a 2-3 record in the round robin phase and qualifying for crossovers. Roy defeated both Maria Nguyen (Humber) and Jin Buyn (Centennial), but lost to Minh Anh Hoang (George Brown), Riley Hogan (Fanshawe) and Rachel Wong (UTM).
Falling to the gold medal winning Hoang in semi-final action, Roy led through much of the first set of her bronze medal encounter with Wong, with nerves finally getting the better of her in her breakthrough performance at the OCAA level.
"At the beginning of the season, I knew Emilie would have a strong season, but in no way would I have expected her to be playing for a shot at Nationals and a Provincial medal in ladies singles," acknowledged Dionne. "She turned a lot of heads this weekend. All in all, we couldn't be happier and more proud of Emilie for all she's been able to do."