Emma MacVoy

Lady Gens capture SWOSSAA “AA” volleyball championship

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens were already going to the OFSAA “AA” championships as the host team, but have now earned the right to be there based on their play.

The Lady Gens won the SWOSSAA “AA” title last Friday night on their home court, thus solidifying their position as a provincial-calibre senior girls volleyball team. However, they made things dramatic for themselves and their fans as they needed five sets to defeat the visiting Chatham John McGregor Panthers. The match was almost a reversal of the previous week’s WECSSAA title win over Essex, as it was the Lady Gens who won the first two sets before losing the next two. General Amherst was able to rally and win the decisive fifth set to claim the title.

The scores were 25-12, 25-20, 18-25, 22-25 and 15-5.

“It’s awesome. We’re really excited,” said Emma MacVoy.

The General Amherst Lady Gens captured the SWOSSAA “AA” title with a five-set win over Chatham John McGregor last Friday night. Bottom row, from left: Lexi Dodds, Elyssa Grondin, Abby Orchard, Lizzy Homeniuk-Smith, Emma MacVoy. Top row, from left: coach Jeff Miller, Danielle Brindley, Allison Dufour, Brynlee Ammonite, Emery Lucier, Ramie Tytgat, Vanessa Pidutti and coach Mary Ewer.

MacVoy said they thought they would win and thought they had a chance to win in three straight games. They were a bit caught off-guard but John McGregor’s comeback in the third and fourth games but rebounded in the fifth and final set.

“We shook up the lineup a bit,” said MacVoy. “It was definitely fun.”

The Lady Gens got down on themselves in the third and fourth sets, she added, but were able to rebound.

“We were just thinking ‘why do we do this to ourselves?’” she said. “Why not pound the ball and get it in there?”

MacVoy added that “it was awesome to prove we deserve to be at OFSAA. We earned our spot. We worked our butts off, practicing every day even on snow days.”

Assistant coach Mary Ewer said they played well in the first set and were fine in the second but the “blocks were non-existent” in the third and fourth sets.

“Everything was the opposite of the first two games,” said Ewer.

The Lady Gens played hard in the fifth game and were able to win it.

Emma MacVoy (2) spikes the ball over the net during the SWOSSAA “AA” final at General Amherst Feb. 22.

“Near the end, we served tough,” said Ewer.

Head coach Jeff Miller said they played great in the first set but “struggled in the second set and got through it.”

“Realistically, I thought John McGregor outplayed us most of the second, third and fourth sets. We were fortunate to come out on top in the second set,” he said.

The serving was going well early, he added, but that was problematic in the middle of the match.

“We could never sustain momentum because we were making service errors,” he said. “In the fifth game, the kids did a good job resetting and going back to basics. We made good plays and forced (John McGregor) into errors.”

The field is not quite set for OFSAA but 20 teams from around Ontario will be playing matches at both General Amherst High School and the St. Clair College Sportsplex. Miller said there are about 50-60 kids from General Amherst volunteering and sponsorships are going OK. Individuals and businesses looking to sponsor the tournament or be part of the tournament brochure can contact Miller at 519-736-2149 or jeff.miller@publicboard.ca. People can also send inquiries to kieth_ewer@hotmail.com or call 226-350-5900. Cheques are payable to General Amherst High School.

Allison Dufour (12) and Brynlee Ammonite (1) go up for a block at the net.

OFSAA starts March 3 with the banquet with matches running March 4-6. The final matches will be in Amherstburg.

Tickets are $20 for an adult tournament pass, $10 for a student tournament pass, $10 for an adult day pass and $5 for a student day pass. Children under 13 are free.

Matches will also be streamed on YouTube by following 2019 OFSAAVB GAHS Court or 2019 OFSAAVB St. Clair Court.

To see more photos from the SWOSSAA “AA” title game, visit our Facebook photo album.