General Amherst looking for playoff success after barnburner to conclude regular season

 

 

VolleyballBy Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs entered this week’s WECSSAA senior boys volleyball playoffs on a high note even though they lost their last match two sets to one.

The Bulldogs dropped a 19-25, 26-28 and 25-23 match to the powerful St. Anne Saints Thursday afternoon in the General Amherst High School gymnasium to conclude the Tier 1 regular season.

The Bulldogs finished the regular season winning eight matches, losing four and having won 23 sets while losing 13.

St. Anne, which finished the regular season 11-0 and winning 30 of 33 sets, had a tough fight with the Bulldogs in all three sets. Amherst had an early lead in the first set but it went back and forth from there before the Saints were able to secure the win.

The second set had much the same formula as the first. Amherst was down 7-2 at one point but roared back to be up 12-8 at one point and had set point on numerous occasions before St. Anne swung the momentum in their favour to finally win the set.

The Bulldogs bounced back from that disappointment in the third set, and managed to avoid being swept in what was otherwise an evenly matched contest.

Head coach Craig Lohnes said he was happy with how his team played.

“They played fantastic,” he said. “It was probably the most exciting match all year.”

The blocking and defense was good but Lohnes pointed out the Bulldogs’ passing was a key in them playing so well. He said when they pass the ball well, as they did against St. Anne, they get their offense rolling.

Lohnes hopes the Bulldogs continue that play going into this week’s WECSSA playoffs. He believes capturing the third set against the Saints, a large AAAA-sized school as opposed to Amherst’s AA ranking, gives his team confidence going forward.

“It was really important to for us going into the playoffs,” said Lohnes. “It shows we can play with them too.”

The first playoff match was played Monday evening with the Bulldogs sweeping past Belle River by scores of 25-16, 25-18 and 25-20.

General Amherst had played earlier in the week, a Tuesday afternoon match with the St. Joseph Lasers, also at Amherst. The Bulldogs won that match, sweeping the Lasers aside in three straight sets 25-19, 25-21 and 25-17.

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