Double-defending champions, the Louis Riel Senior Girls Volleyball team bowed out in the quarterfinals of the provincial championships which took place March 5 to 7, in Kitchener.
The Louis Riel Senior Girls Volleyball Team were double-defending champions going into the OFSAA Provincial Championship. (Photo: Provided)
Their triumph in the Ottawa championship on Feb.15, had put them on track, unfortunately for the players and coach, François St-Denis, the route to the Provincial Championships ended in the quarterfinals.
After an eventful first day, marked by a defeat in the third group match, the team responded with a win in their last match in straight sets to ensure first place in the group.
"The groups were closely contested and at a well-balanced level," says St-Denis, the coach of the Senior Girls team.
Qualifying for the quarterfinals, the players tilted in two sets to Waterdown.
"The girls were more nervous and made many unusual mistakes, especially in service and reception, while it is usually our strength. The Waterdown team showed great fighting spirit, they really wanted this win and had capitalized on the opportunity," St-Denis analyzed.
Although a double-defending champion, the Louis Riel team was not necessarily guaranteed a victory, the coach explains.
"Every year, the team changes, it is difficult to predict a victory. It was a very physical team this year and they had great control of the ball. We had fewer players with ambitions to pursue volleyball at the university level. However, our objective was to come away with a medal, that is to say to finish in the top four. We were only one victory away from a top three placement, so it's a disappointment. Particularly disappointing is that we have not evolved since last year, and we played worse than usual. "
The season ends on a somewhat negative note, but he will not forget the title he won on Feb.15. A new team is already being organized and St-Denis ensures that it will be competitive.
"I have not had so many opportunities to visit the new players who will join us, but when I see the results of the juniors, it looks solid. The team is part of two to three best teams in the city. If girls are ready to invest, to make efforts and devote the necessary time, we will be very competitive."
Translated by Catherine Kitts