E.L. Crossley

Lady Gens advance to OFSAA quarterfinals before bowing out

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A team from Fonthill captured the OFSAA “AA” senior girls volleyball championship but the home team still had a respectable showing at the tournament.

E.L. Crossley defeated Widdifield, the latter school being from North Bay, in the OFSAA gold medal game last Wednesday evening in a five-set match, winning the fifth and final set 16-14. E.L. Crossley entered the tournament as the fifth seed while Widdifield was the second seed. The match concluded the provincial tournament, hosted by General Amherst High School, with the home team putting in a solid effort.

The Lady Gens, who were seeded sixth, were defeated by Franco Cité, an Ottawa-based school last Tuesday night in the championship quarterfinals. Third seeded Franco Cité won the first set 25-23 before General Amherst rallied to win the second set 25-20. Franco-Cité would advance to the semi-finals with 25-17 and 25-22 in the third and fourth sets respectively.

General Amherst’s Abby Orchard (black jersey) plays the ball during the OFSAA quarterfinal match with Franco Cité March 5.

General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said he was looking forward to the match with Franco Cité as they are similarly sized teams that played similar styles.

“I knew it would be a hard fought match,” said Miller. “We just made a couple of more errors.”

Miller believed the Lady Gens “shot ourselves in the foot” in the first set a couple of times and missed some timely serves. Had the Lady Gens won that set, “it could have been completely different,” he added.

“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” he stated. “I thought we played better in OFSAA than we did at WECSSAA and SWOSSAA. I’m happy. I think it’s fantastic to get to the OFSAA quarterfinals and be one of eight teams that had a chance.”

Miller said it was a good achievement for the Lady Gens to advance to the OFSAA quarterfinals, particularly since they only won one match during the 2017-18 season.

“It’s tough to lose in the quarterfinals but they are a great team,” said assistant coach Mary Ewer. “We didn’t give up.”

The General Amherst Lady Gens celebrate after getting a point versus Franco Cité.

The Lady Gens gelled together this year and Ewer noted they were a young team this season.

“We’re proud of them,” said Ewer.

Eight of the 11 players are eligible to return next season with graduating seniors including captain Vanessa Pidutti, Ramie Tytgat and Lizzy Homeniuk-Smith. With so many players returning, Miller believes that it could lead to bigger and better things for the Lady Gens next season. He said they are hoping to earn a medal at next year’s OFSAA.

Ewer pointed out that none of the players on this year’s team had played at the provincial level in high school.

“None of them had experience at OFSAA,” she said.

General Amherst’s Elyssa Grondin (10) sets the ball in the air as Dani Brindley (right) looks on.

Ewer emphasized the Lady Gens made great strides and had a very good season.

“It was pretty awesome,” she said.

The bronze medal match was won by Corpus Christi, as they defeated Franco Cité. Corpus Christi was the top seed entering the tournament. Thornlea won the consolation championship as they defeated the Essex Red Raiders in the consolation championship match.

For more photos on the Lady Gens’ OFSAA quarterfinal match, visit our Facebook photo album.