Val­ley edges Holy Trin­ity ju­niors

Tillsonburg News - - SPORTS - Ja­cob Robin­son

The Val­ley Heights Bears and Holy Trin­ity Ti­tans ju­nior girls volleyball teams be­gan this sea­son like they fin­ished the last one - with a bang.

The de­fend­ing cham­pion Ti­tans hosted the Bears in a re­match of the 2017-18 fi­nal con­test on Tues­day to open the 2018-19 NSSAA cam­paign and af­ter a long and hard-fought af­fair, the Bears came away with a 3-2 (1625, 25-18, 25-22, 23-25, 15-13) vic­tory in what for a hand­ful of com­peti­tors was their first taste of the high school level.

“It gives us some con­fi­dence,” Bears cap­tain Jill Hamm said of the win. “We have a lot of new play­ers and it sets us up well. It was a hard loss at the end of last sea­son so we want to come back strong this sea­son.”

The Bears looked to have vic­tory in hand af­ter go­ing up 2-1, a third set win com­ing thanks in large part to Hamm’s 14 ser­vice points. Not to be out­done, the Ti­tans led 8-2 in the fourth set and coasted to a win, set­ting up an all-or-noth­ing clash to 15.

“It was pretty stress­ful but we knew that we needed to get the points - we tried to keep our en­ergy up and keep at­tack­ing,” said Ti­tan cap­tain Abby Spring­ham.

“In our pep talk, we said ‘we need to stay pos­i­tive, we need to go out there and give it our all’ and that’s what we did.”

Holy Trin­ity ac­tu­ally led the fifth 8-5 as both teams switched ends of the floor. The Bears reeled off 10 of the next 15 to be­gin their cam­paign with a mark of 1-0.

“We kind of got down on our­selves first, but we’re good at pick­ing our­selves back up as a team and work­ing to­gether,” said Hamm. “We didn’t want to stay down (in the fifth set), we wanted to come out strong.”

Hamm went on to say the Bears will look to com­mu­ni­cate more in their se­cond con­test, which came Thurs­day vs. Water­ford. They also plan to keep up the in­ten­sity, which is some­thing Spring­ham said the Ti­tans will also work on.

“We learned a lot from this game,” said Spring­ham, whose team headed across town to meet Sim­coe Thurs­day. “We re­al­ized we have to keep hit­ting, keep our en­ergy up - it was a good ex­pe­ri­ence for us.” jrobin­[email protected]­

Ja­cob Robin­son/Post­media Net­work

Chantelle Coulombe of Val­ley Heights makes a play dur­ing the NSSAA ju­nior girls volleyball opener at Holy Trin­ity on Tues­day. The Bears went on to win the con­test in five sets.

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