General Amherst

Jr. Lady Gens capture silver in WECSSAA “AA” volleyball playoffs

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens junior girls volleyball team couldn’t quite get to the top of the mountain but are still happy with their season.

The Lady Gens were in LaSalle last Thursday night for the WECSSAA “AA” junior volleyball championship and went up against a powerful Sandwich Sabres team that went undefeated all season. The Sabres won the match and the championship with a 25-14, 25-13 and 25-23 victory.

The General Amherst Lady Gens junior girls volleyball team pose for a team shot with their silver medals after losing in three sets in the WECSSAA “AA” finals last Thursday evening at Sandwich Secondary School. (Photo by Kathy Dodds)

“They left it all on the floor,” said General Amherst head coach Mary Ewer.

Ewer said they were nervous in the first set and didn’t play their game and played better in the second set but “we weren’t able to get runs on them.” Ewer called a time out and told the Lady Gens simply to go out and have fun.

In the third game, the Lady Gens played well and led 23-20 at one point.

“The last seven points were the best seven points I’ve seen in a junior game in a long time,” Ewer stated. “It was back-and-forth. It was so much fun to watch.”

General Amherst’s Emma MacVoy (2) bumps the ball back over the net during action in the WECSSAA “AA” girls volleyball final last Thursday night at Sandwich Secondary in LaSalle.

Ewer, who coached the team with Jeff Miller and Christine Belcher this season, credited the opposition as well.

“Sandwich is a great team. They have a lot of club players, we had one,” she said. “I think our girls came out and tried our best. Sandwich is a very good defensive team.”

About 85-90 per cent of the players attended practices this season, Ewer added, and that made for “fabulous practices” and a better team.

Lexi Dodds of General Amherst goes after a loose ball during the first set of the WECSSAA “AA” volleyball final against Sandwich last Thursday night.

“We are so, so proud of them,” she said. “To me, it was a total team effort. It was lots of fun.”

Ewer said she is already looking forward to next year’s junior and senior seasons with the latter hosting the OFSAA “AA” provincial championship tournament.

Jr. Lady Gens advance in WECSSAA “AA” volleyball playoffs

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst senior girls volleyball season may be finished, but the junior girls are still going.

The Jr. Lady Gens advanced in the WECSSAA “AA” volleyball playoffs last Thursday evening with a three-set sweep of the Essex Red Raiders in a match played at General Amherst High School. The Lady Gens, who were 8-2 in the regular season, defeated Essex 25-17, 25-20 and 25-15 to advance to the semifinals.

“The juniors have had a fantastic year,” said Jeff Miller, who coaches both the juniors and seniors at General Amherst. “Essex is way better than the ten-seed.”

The match versus the Red Raiders was good for the Lady Gens as they had to work for the victory.

“We played a really good, solid match to beat them,” Miller stated. “If we were sloppy, they could have knocked us off.”

Lexi Dodds hits the ball back over the net during General Amherst’s junior girls volleyball match with Essex Feb. 8.

General Amherst is the second seed in the WECSSAA “AA” playoffs and hope to eventually meet the top seed.

“The expectation is we want to be in the WECSSAA final and get another chance at Sandwich and put a scare into them,” said Miller.

This year’s junior Lady Gens team has been a pleasant surprise for coaches Miller and Christine Belcher.

“I thought we’d be a pretty solid group but I didn’t think we’d be second out of everybody,” said Miller.

The senior Lady Gens host the OFSAA “AA” championships next year and Miller believes that team will be “marketedly improved” as they will enter the provincial tournament as the host team.

The senior team will lose about five players to graduation but will have five returning players plus an influx of talent from this year’s junior team. The senior Lady Gens were eliminated from the WECSSAA playoffs in three sets last Tuesday, losing 25-18, 25-23 and 25-19 at Tecumseh Vista Academy. Miller said the seniors started playing better after the Christmas break but illness and injury didn’t help either.

“Unfortunately it was a little bit too late,” he said.

Lady Gens show improvement on the ice

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens have been progressing despite what their record indicates.

This very young team had a tough couple of weeks with a 1-3 record. That being said our last two games have been our best efforts of the year so far.  On Jan. 10, we lost to Kingsville 5-2.

Scoring for Amherst was Jaycie Stanek and Abby Bondy.  We just never got started properly and fell behind early.  Kingsville came to play and capitalized on our simple mistakes in our own end.  The coaching staff emphasized after the game to try to play a much simpler game. We have been caught with players trying to do too much and over thinking the game.

On Jan. 15, we played Cardinal Carter and had one of our weakest efforts of the year losing 7-1. Scoring for Amherst was Sydney Doyle assisted be Jaycie Stanek. It was one of those games that every team has at least once during the season. Sometimes it is best just to forget about them and move on to your next game with an improved effort and that’s what we did.

Cardinal Carter’s Chloe Mastronardi chases Abbie Drouillard of the General Amherst Lady Gens as she takes control of the puck to the left of the net during a WECSSAA Tier II girls hockey game at Unico Arena Jan. 15. Cardinal Carter won 7-1. (Photo by Bryan Jessop/Southpoint Sun)

On Jan. 16, we played Essex and although I think we outplayed them we lost 2-0. We definitely out-chanced them the whole game but had no puck luck around their net.

Overall it was one of our best games of the year.  On Jan. 22, we played St. Joseph’s and had our best game of the year.  The girls played a very smart, simple and aggressive game from the opening faceoff to the final buzzer. St. Joe’s had only lost twice all year and I think we outplayed them throughout the game.  They kept things simple and did not collapse after St. Joe’s tied the game in the second period.

One of the things that we have tried to emphasize throughout the season is that we have a young team and that we need to be patient with them.  They are going to make mistakes but that’s how they will learn to be better.  Failure lives in the house right next door to success and it’s the lessons we learn from failure that eventually breeds success.

Scoring for Amherst in this game were: Abby Bondy unassisted, Emily Pontini with the winner assisted by Jaycie Stanek and Abby Laframboise and Jaycie Stanek from Phoebe Trealout (her first high school point) and Cassidy Zelle.  Jaiden Stiles was very solid in goal and our defense did a fantastic job at both ends of the ice.

We would like to welcome Jaiden back from her injury and after missing three games. She has picked up where she left off giving us very steady goaltending.  We would also like to thank Autumn Guthrie for playing goal for us in Jaiden’s absence.  She worked very hard trying to learn an extremely tough position in a short amount of time with the help of goalie coach Terry Bondy. Great effort Autumn.  We now break for exams and play our final league game on Mon. Feb. 5th against Tecumseh Vista.

—Submitted by General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece

Lady Gens conclude WECSSAA Tier 1 regular season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens regular season is over in WECSSAA Tier 1 volleyball action.

The Lady Gens had a busy week in league action, but lost all of their matches. They lost two sets to one to visiting Essex last Thursday 17-25, 14-25 and 25-19 before dropping three straight to Tecumseh Vista Academy Wednesday. The latter was a make-up game from one that had been postponed due to a snowstorm in December.

evening. Emma MacVoy (left) goes up for the spike while Vanessa Pidutti hits the ball back over the net during a Jan. 16 match against Essex.

The Lady Gens travelled to LaSalle to play Sandwich last Thursday and the Sabres won 25-22, 25-9 and 25-23. First place Riverside came to Amherstburg Monday and won 25-17, 25-22 and 25-19.

“We’re just not playing well enough to beat anyone,” said General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller after the Essex game.

Assistant coach Mary Ewer added the Lady Gens have been battling a lot of illnesses lately and that while “it’s not an excuse,” they’ve had a limited number of players at recent practices.

The General Amherst Lady Gens hosted the Essex Red Raiders last Jan. 16. Emma MacVoy (6) goes up for the spike.

The game against Essex saw some players from the junior team get called up in order to have a full team of Lady Gens take the court.

“We had to shuffle things around just to play tonight,” Miller said last Tuesday.

With the busy week, the coaches agreed it wasn’t a good time to have to battle illnesses but said they have to work through it.

WECSSAA playoffs are scheduled to begin after the exam break.

Bulldogs split two games in WECSSAA boys hockey action

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team heads into the exam break with a 5-2-2 record after a win and a loss last week.

The Bulldogs’ first game of the week was a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the visiting Belle River Nobles. Cole Zelle scored twice in the loss while Josh DiCarlo added the other goal.

“We blew a couple of two-goal leads,” said General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett.

The Bulldogs led 2-0 before Belle River made it a 2-1 game then held a 3-1 lead after two periods. After Belle River had made it 3-2 in the third period, the Nobles pulled their goalie late and made it 3-3. Garrett said the Bulldogs may have become too tense after the tying goal and subsequently allowed the game winner with seconds remaining.

“It was kind of a letdown on our behalf. We let up a little bit,” said Garrett.

Garrett believed the Bulldogs didn’t play poorly against Belle River but hopes not getting any points doesn’t haunt them in the fight for playoff positioning later in the season.

“I think it might be a little bit of a learning lesson for us,” he said of the Belle River game.

In terms of the games developed on the scoreboard, the Bulldogs were on the opposite end of a comeback the next day in Kingsville. The Bulldogs and Cavaliers faced off with Kingsville taking a 3-1 lead on their home ice after two periods before the Bulldogs scored three goals in the third period to win 4-3.

Garrett said it was their first time in Kingsville in several years and the Bulldogs had to adapt to a smaller ice surface. After getting down by two goals after two periods, Garrett said he reminded the Bulldogs of what happened the day before and that they could come back too.

“We went out and played an incredible third period,” he added.

Brock Beaudoin led the way for General Amherst with three goals while Zelle had the other.

After the exam break, the Bulldogs have three games on consecutive days – Feb. 6-8 – with all games being at the Libro Centre. The opponents will be Brennan, L’Essor and Essex respectively with all games scheduled for 3 p.m. starts.