Lancers rely on depth, defence to win title
Ursuline advances to SWOSSAA final after unseating CKSS
The Ursuline Lancers are one win away from their first OFSAA appearance in four years.
They’ll visit the St. Anne Saints in the SWOSSAA ‘AAA’ senior boys’ volleyball final at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Lakeshore.
The winner moves on to the OFSAA tournament Nov. 23-25 in Kitchener and Waterloo.
The Lancers used their strong arsenal of hitters to beat the three-time defending champion Chatham-Kent Golden Hawks 3-1 in the LKSSAA final Friday at Ursuline.
“The Hawks focused on Aiden Anjema down the middle, so Luca Bernardi moved the ball to the wings as Cal O’Hara, Rylan Burm & Dylan McGregor provided much of the offence,” Lancers head coach Jeff Denomy wrote to the Daily News. “Cal, Rylan and Dylan combined to have 40 kills in the match.”
The top-seeded Lancers won 25-17, 25-23, 20-25, 25-16.
“Although Aiden Anjema was held in check at times, he did explode for big hits to finish off both Games 1 and 2 sending the boisterous crowd into a frenzy,” Denomy wrote. “Aiden was dominant blocking throughout the match, including four blocks down the stretch in Game 2.”
The Lancers are an experienced team that focuses on defence. Libero Dylan Buchanan and defensive specialist Finn O’Brien led them in the final with a total of 12 digs.
Offensively, the Lancers had 98 swings in the match but hit only four balls out, Denomy wrote.
Their victory ended the Golden Hawks’ remarkable streak of 17 consecutive OFSAA appearances.
“Every time we played CKSS this year they improved,” Denomy wrote. “(Friday) was no difference as this is the best I’ve seen them play all year. CKSS forced us to work hard in practice every day as we knew the road to SWOSSAA had to go through them. We had great respect for them and played hard every point until the final whistle.”
The Lancers’ last OFSAA trip was in 2013.