Valley edges Holy Trinity juniors
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]media.com
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.