Ten city championship banners, covering two different sports, doled out in a period of just slightly more than 24 hours, meant that SDSSAA officials were kept hopping over the course of this past weekend.
Where the basketball finals were spread over two days at a pair of venues, College Boreal served as host to all five of the girls volleyball finals on Friday. The Division I junior encounter would be the only match to go the distance, as the Lo-Ellen Park Knights outlasted the College Notre-Dame Alouettes 25-16, 25-20, 9-25, 21-25, 15-11.
The victory was the middle of a perfect sweep for the Knights in Division I competition, the evening affair wrapping things up in style as Lo-Ellen stopped Notre-Dame 25-22, 26-24, 25-17 in the senior final. After finishing second to CND in league play, the senior Knights enjoyed a reversal of fortunes on Friday, capturing a battle that was among the more highly anticipated match-ups of the day.
"We went in knowing we could win, but also feeling like the underdogs," said coach Steven Dunlop, who shared the head coaching duties, throughout the year, with Sheldon Root. "I thought this was really a true team effort," Dunlop continued. "We had a couple of big guns come through for us, with Hannah (Nordquist) and Lauren (Jeanneault) both able to put the ball away."
"Our middles (Erika Brown/Briele Bisaillon) ran hard runs and put up a good blocking front, and Amelina (Itturegui), in the back court, just passed dimes, and was also quite adept at picking up a number of hard hit balls, keeping the play alive."
"We were down 24-20 in the second set and Sami (Dunlop) finished the game with her serves, which showed a lot of heart," added the coach. "We had Danielle (Stinson) able to come in and serve, at key times, and Kyla (Parsons) and Sydney (Melanson) were able to come off the bench and play."
"And we wouldn't be anywhere without our setter, Sophie (Gaffney), who was able to quarterback our offense and played strong defense as well." After taking part in the OFSAA "AAA" Championships last March, Lo-Ellen is hoping to crack through at the "AA" level this year.
There might not be an OFSAA appearance on the line for the Chelmsford Flyers senior girls team, but that did not stop co-coach Glenn Murray, who joins both Sarah Jokinen and Liza Albrecht on the bench, from beaming about the performance of their team. "We wanted to achieve our number one goal, to defend the banner we won at juniors last year, and get a chance to move up to Division I next year," said Murray, as the Flyers stopped the Marymount Regals 25-18, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21.
"Ellis Albrecht gave everything she had getting to balls that should have been unplayable," Murray continued. "Somehow, she turned terrible passes into really nice sets. Elizabeth Pratt was a force at the net. In fact, all in all, our defense came up big."
The CVDCS roster also included Melody Knight, Skyler Dale, Emily Lankshear, Hannah Dagg-Chenier, Lacey Hein, Emma Brenton-Levesque, Taylor Labrosse, Kiara Fickling and Madie Beer.
Rounding out the parade of champions were the Lo-Ellen novice Knights, 26-24, 15-25, 25-18, 25-20 winners over the Bishop Carter Gators, and the Marymount junior Regals, who took home the Division II banner with a 25-21, 14-25, 27-25, 25-18 triumph over the Sacre Coeur Griffons.