The Northern Chill Polar 16U girls were putting the competition on ice, laying claim to their first gold medals of the year late last month in Barrie at a Challenge Cup - Trillium Green "D" event.
Coming off a challenging first half of the 2019-2020 season, the locals took only one set to start turning things around, overcoming an early deficit to register a 23-25, 25-17, 15-9 win over the Thundercats Force from Richmond Hill in their opening encounter.
First place in Pool "C" would be theirs after sweeping past the Georgian Bay Vista, 25-11, 25-18, setting up a critical quarter-final match-up with the Barrie Elites Blackout. The expected back and forth affair would again go the way of the Sudbury crew, pulling away in the final set and advancing to the final four, 25-20, 15-25, 15-6.
No reason to slow down at this point as the Chill Polar girls kept rolling right along, upending the PVC Flames 25-22, 25-20 in the semi-finals, and completing their run with a 25-21, 27-25 triumph over the Georgian Cubs Everest.
"As a coach, it's always great to see everything that you've been working on for months come together with a positive end result," said Polar head coach Tess Peterson. "Both Alix (Burkart - ass't coach) and myself are extremely proud of every girl on this team. We can't wait to see what the rest of the season brings."
Individually, the highlights were many, ranging from the near-perfect passing of libero Brielle Depatie right out of the gate, setting power Molly Lafantaisie up for six kills in the first match alone.
A nine-serve run by Roma Cormier, closing out the first win, would give way to a complete day of very smart sets from Anya Dowe, with left-side Zoe St-Jean asserting herself more and more as an impact player as the day wore on.
Rounding out the 2019-2020 edition of the Northern Chill Polar 16U team are Hayley Bertrand, Mia Renaud, Makayla Mirka, Charlotte Eberlein, Emma Vaillancourt, Chandra Poirier, Megan Merrylees, coaches Tess Peterson and Alix Burkart, and team manager Julie Mirka.