WECSSAA

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 drop pair of games on the ice to Kingsville

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A home-and-home series between the General Amherst Lady Gens and the Kingsville Cavaliers saw the latter win both.

The first game was last Tuesday afternoon at the Libro Centre, a 3-1 win for the Cavaliers. Jaycie Stanek’s goal in the final minute prevented General Amherst from being shut out but it wasn’t enough to get them any points.

Lady Gens head coach Dan Pettypiece said after Tuesday’s game that regular goalie Jaiden Stiles was unavailable so they had to put Autumn Guthrie between the pipes. Guthrie also played several games before the Christmas break due to Stiles missing action with a concussion.

“She stopped a lot of shots from close in,” Pettypiece said.

Pettypiece thought the Lady Gens played well in Tuesday’s game, despite the 3-1 final score.

“I think we out-chanced them, to tell you the truth,” said Pettypiece.

General Amherst’s Jaycie Stanek (4, yellow jersey) looks for a scoring chance Jan. 9 against Kingsville. Emily Pontini (2) is also seen in the picture. Amherst lost both ends of a home-and-home series against Kingsville.

The next day, the two teams met in Kingsville and the Cavaliers won again, this time by a 5-2 final score.

The Lady Gens have “internal issues that have to be worked out,” said Pettypiece.

“Right now, it’s trying to mesh the younger kids with the older kids,” he stated.

The veteran players have experienced success in recent seasons and Pettypiece added that there is some frustration now that the team is in a rebuilding season with young players.

“Everyone knew it was going to be a work in progress and it is,” said Pettypiece. “It’s something they have to adjust to.”

Pettypiece said that he believes the Lady Gens can beat any team in the WECSSAA Tier 2 league but they have to play simple hockey and not try to do too much.

“Everything isn’t falling into place right now,” Pettypiece said last Tuesday, “then they get frustrated. They have to play for each other. They can’t play as individuals.”

General Amherst was in Essex Jan. 16. They play St. Joseph at the WFCU Centre in Windsor next Monday and conclude the regular season Feb. 5, also on the road, against Tecumseh Vista Academy at Tecumseh Arena.

Lady Gens volleyball team falls short versus Holy Names

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team had their first WECSSAA Tier 1 volleyball game after the Christmas break and they came out on the short end.

The Lady Gens hosted the Holy Names Knights last Thursday and lost two sets to one to drop their overall record to 1-5 on the Tier 1 season. The two teams played a tightly contested first set with Holy Names edging the Lady Gens 25-23.

General Amherst’s Bryanna France hits the ball back over the net during last Thursday’s match with Holy Names.

General Amherst came out flat in the second set, as they trailed 5-0 early en route to dropping the set 25-17. Holy Names looked to be in line for a sweep as they led 22-17 in the third set but the Lady Gens rallied and scored eight of the last nine points to win 25-23.

“It was OK,” Amherst head coach Jeff Miller, said of the match. “It was a game where we had a legitimate opportunity to win. It’s good that we at least got one set out of it.”

Miller said the Lady Gens had an opportunity to win the first set but couldn’t finish the Knights off.

“When the pressure was on to win the first set, we were more panicky than they were,” he said.

General Amherst’s Ramie Tytgat (2) and Reese Jones (8) go up for a block during WECSSAA volleyball action Jan.11 against Holy Names.

The win in the third set could prove to be important as Miller said all points matter in the battle for playoff positioning.

“Our effort has to be more consistent,” he said. “We play well for eight to ten point stretches, then poorly for 12-15 point stretches.”

The Lady Gens have to communicate and hustle consistently throughout matches. When things go poorly, “they other team can take it to you for a while.”

The Lady Gens hosted Essex Tuesday night after this issue went to press and host Tecumseh Vista Academy tonight (Jan. 17) at 4 p.m. They also play at Sandwich Thursday at 4 p.m. before wrapping up the regular season at home with a game against Sandwich next Monday at 5:20 p.m.

Bulldogs lose home opener to Cardinal Carter

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs took to their home court for the first time this season last Tuesday but dropped a 70-34 decision to Cardinal Carter.

The senior boys basketball team trailed 37-17 at the half with the visiting Cougars extending their lead further in the third quarter. Cardinal Carter outscored General Amherst 25-12 over the third eight-minute quarter.

The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 0-2 in WECSSAA Tier 2 play.

“It was a tough game,” said General Amherst coach Ben Pelger. “We competed against a team that should be playing Tier 1.”

Pelger said the Bulldogs looked “a little bit rusty” against Cardinal Carter.

“Hopefully we can raise our game and have better games in the future,” said Pelger.

General Amherst was able to take a lot of shots against Cardinal Carter, but Pelger added that not enough of them went in.

“We still need to do a lot of work defensively and rebounding,” said Pelger.

General Amherst’s Jackson Campbell dribbles under the Cardinal Carter basket during last Tuesday’s senior boys basketball game in Amherstburg. Cardinal Carter won the game 70-34.

The Bulldogs are aiming for a 5-5 season, said Pelger, noting the team is both a mix of new and experienced players. Pelger said there are three returning seniors, four players that moved up from the junior team and five new players.

Pelger also coaches the junior boys team, which also dropped to 0-2 last Tuesday night after a 50-26 loss to Cardinal Carter’s junior team. The juniors are also hoping for a 5-5 record this season.

“That’s a really promising team,” said Pelger. “They are playing hard every game. It’s a good group of guys. The Grade 9 and 10’s get along well. They are all there to improve and get better for the future.”

The two teams are trying to get General Amherst back to a championship level on an annual basis, Pelger added.

The teams played Monday at Tecumseh Vista Academy. The senior team lost to the Vortex 54-34 while the junior team fell 56-36.

 

Bulldogs start WECSSAA boys hockey season with win and loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team has started the 2017-18 WECSSAA season with a 1-1 record.

The Bulldogs opened the season last Tuesday afternoon on the road with a 4-2 win over L’Essor. The game, played at Tecumseh Arena, saw Brock Beaudoin lead the way for General Amherst with two goals. Josh DiCarlo and Max Clifford each had two goals.

The home opener for the Bulldogs was two days later but it was the Sandwich Sabres who left the Libro Centre Thursday with a 4-3 win. The Bulldogs led 3-1 after two periods on goals from Brandon Salvati, Nate Lenson and Colle Zelle but Sandwich scored three goals in quick succession in the third period for the come-from-behind victory.

Amherst head coach Pat Garrett said the Bulldogs were a bit “flatfooted” in the third period against Sandwich but otherwise was happy with the start of the season.

“I’m excited about the start of the year and the rest of the year for that matter,” Garrett said after Thursday’s game. “I think we’ll be right in the mix. That’s a good group of kids (in the Bulldogs’ dressing room).”

General Amherst’s Isaac Hammond (right) skates past Sandwich’s Connor Fabel last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre. Sandwich picked up a 4-3 come-from-behind victory.

Garrett said they were missing DiCarlo against the Sabres but didn’t use that as an excuse. He said the loss and how the loss happened can be used in the Bulldogs’ favour going forward.

“It’s something we can learn from and move on,” he said.

The team saw key members of its defense corps from last year graduate while two other players moved on as well. Despite those losses, a number of players have returned and Garrett said “it goes to show you the depth we had.”

General Amherst’s Nick Bozin brings the puck into the Sandwich zone during the third period of the Nov. 30 game at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg.

The Bulldogs have three scoring lines, Garrett added, and six mature defenseman with a Grade 10 blueliner also showing he can play well. Garrett said he never feels nervous about who he puts out over the boards.

“That’s a huge bonus for us,” he said.

The Bulldogs are on the road twice this week. They play Brennan today (Wednesday) at the WFCU Centre before going to the Atlas Tube Centre in Lakeshore to battle the Belle River Nobles. General Amherst’s next home game is Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. versus the Kingsville Cavaliers.