Daring greatly and playing as a team, the Junior A Boys gave it their all this weekend as they played some excellent volleyball at Holy Cross Collegiate in Strathmore, representing the South Central Zone.
On Friday, the Spartans played the host team, Holy Cross Collegiate, and although they got off to a slow start, they quickly made up their lost points and won the game in straight sets. Spartan of the game, Connor P. ’22, normally one of our power hitters, showed great enthusiasm and confident middle hitting as he stepped in to play this position. Also, Keegan M. ’22 had some amazing serving runs at critical points in the game. In the next match, the boys had the chance to play Notre Dame. They played with both strong serving and smart setting by Spartan of the Game Parker Van G. ’22 to make our record 2-0. Our last pool play match was against a strong, gritty Christ the King School. This would prove to be our toughest match of the day. The boys nonetheless were relentless in their pursuit of victory, and Cameron M. ’22 (Spartan of the Game) and John McLean's frequent blocks in the middle shut down the Royals big hitters, and Will S.'s ’22 big digs in some long rallies helped pave our way to finishing 1st in our pool and gave the Spartans a bye into the semis.
Saturday's semi-final match was against the home team, Holy Cross Collegiate. Again, the team’s strong serving created many points for STS. Excellent passing, offence and strong defence from Spartan of the game, Eric K. ’22 helped earn the Spartans their spot in the gold medal game and victory in our semis. Our gold medal final matched us up against the formidable St. Joseph Crusaders. These boys hit hard, served tough and came to battle. STS, in game one, took a little while to adjust to the brute force of this team. At 11-20, it did not look promising for STS, but a timeout and a small line up change helped refocus the boys and they started playing with more confidence and belief. Adding strength to the floor with their positivity, determination, selflessness, and effort Keegan M. ’22, Zayden R. ’22, Will S. ’22, and Connor P. ’22 helped at different parts of these games to recharge our team.
STS battled back playing point for point until the end of the game to finish it 16-25. They now believed they could take on this team and had nothing to lose. In game 2, the gameplay on both sides of the court was further elevated. Long rallies, powerful jump serves, quick middle attacks, it definitely was a crowd pleaser to watch and an amazing testament to the hardworking teams.
Azam A. ’22, Spartan of the game, crushed a ball down the line to give STS a point and some huge momentum. Cameron M. ’22 and John M. ’22 blocked Crusaders big middles and had many touches on the block. Eric K. ’22 and Parker V. ’22 picked apart the team's defence with smart timely tips and dumps. Serving under pressure has been something the team has been working on all year, and Eric K. ’22, Parker Van G. ’22, Azam A. ’22, and especially John M. ’22 did not disappoint at critical points in the game.
Although our team did end up coming up a little short 24-26, they can be proud that each player contributed in the game, they all gave it their absolute all, and they left it all out on the court. Please congratulate the boys on a great season and a strong second place finish at zones. Also a big thank you to Jyoti Ruparell ’18 our alumni assistant coach. She has gone above and beyond to help these players bring their game to the next level, and it has been so fun to see the connection and impact her two years of working with these players has made.