General Amherst Lady Gens

Lady Gens pick up two more wins on the volleyball court



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens picked up a pair of wins on the volleyball court last week.

The Lady Gens improved to 6-0 on the WECSSAA Tier 1 senior girls volleyball season, winning both matches on their home court. After General Amherst opened the week with a 25-22 25-18 and 25-14 win over the St. Anne Saints last Tuesday, they returned to their home court Thursday where they knocked off the visiting Essex Red Raiders 18-25, 25-22 and 25-18.

Teammates Vanessa Pidutti and Brynlee Ammonite knew they were in a tough game with the Red Raiders.

“I think the last two (sets) were definitely better than the first one,” said Pidutti, as the Lady Gens had to rally to win the last two sets to win the match.

Emery Lucier plays the ball during a WECSSAA senior girls volleyball match at General Amherst High School. The Lady Gens won the match two sets to one.

The Lady Gens made fewer errors in the latter two sets though Pidutti credited Essex as being a good team that hustled on the court.

“We know the next time we play them, we’ll have to bring our ‘A’ game,” said Ammonite.

The Lady Gens were slow and not talking in the first set, Pidutti noted, but stated the communication improved in sets two and three. Pidutti added they would get upset in the first game whenever they made a bad play.

“We wouldn’t let go of our errors,” said Ammonite.

Pidutti and Ammonite believed they played well in the recent Black & Gold Volleyball Classic, which General Amherst hosted and won, but Ammonite believed they still have to be more consistent with their serves.

“It’s the communication we really have to work on,” added Pidutti.

The Lady Gens do not play again until Jan. 10 when the Holy Names Knights come to town.

Emma MacVoy spikes the ball over the net during General Amherst’s win over the visiting Essex Red Raiders.

“The break will give us a rest,” said Pidutti.

Ammonite said they will come out of the break with hard practices to get them ready to go.

“We’re looking forward to next year as we’re hosting OFSAA,” stated Pidutti.

Despite the fact the Lady Gens get an automatic berth as the host team, both Ammonite and Pidutti stated they want to be there as WECSSAA and SWOSSAA “AA” champions.

“We’re trying to work towards earning it,” said Pidutti.

For more photos from the match against Essex, please click here for the link to the photo album.

Lady Gens win two matches after capturing tournament



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens had a bit of a letdown after winning the Black & Gold Volleyball Classic they hosted but are still 4-0 on the 2018-19 WECSSAA Tier 1 senior girls volleyball season.

The Lady Gens captured the tournament the weekend of Dec. 7-8, including wins over Holy Names and Sandwich in the semi-final and final respectively, and returned to WECSSAA league play last Tuesday against the Massey Mustangs. The Lady Gens had some difficulty with the Mustangs, edging them in the first two sets 28-26 and 25-23 before dropping the third set 25-17.

The General Amherst Lady Gens hosted the Black & Gold Volleyball Classic recently and ended up winning the tournament, defeating Sandwich in the final. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Dodds)

Emma MacVoy thought the Lady Gens played pretty well but believed that her team made some errors as well.

“I thought we worked hard and got the job done,” she said. “We won the sets we had to win.”

MacVoy said the girls have had a good start to the season and “have come a long way since juniors” but the match versus Massey was a tough one.

“I think we had a good game and (Massey) came out of nowhere,” she said. “We definitely had to work hard to win the match.”

Head coach Jeff Miller was less impressed with his team’s effort.

“We should have lost all three games,” said Miller. “We were very fortunate to come out with a win. We just struggled with ball control all game.”

Assistant coach Mary Ewer pointed out the back-and-forth nature of the game, noting one instance where the Lady Gens were up 10-3 at one point in the second set before Massey rallied and took a 15-12 lead. Ewer said it is tough to play the first match after winning a tournament with Miller stating he was not confident heading into the match.

General Amherst would return to their winning ways two nights later at Kennedy. The Lady Gens would sweep the Clippers in three straight sets, winning 25-17, 25-23 and 25-10.

Emma MacVoy (2, centre) spikes the ball between two Massey defenders during the Lady Gens’ win Dec. 11.

The Lady Gens returned to their home court this week. A match versus the St. Anne Saints was played Tuesday evening after the print issue of the RTT went to press. The Essex Red Raiders then come to Amherstburg for a match with General Amherst Thursday at 4 p.m.

Both matches are viewed as good tests for the Lady Gens.

“That will be a good way to finish off 2018,” said Ewer.

The Lady Gens will then go into their Christmas break before resuming the WECSSAA Tier 1 schedule Jan. 10 at home against Holy Names.

Lady Gens narrowly lose final game of regular season



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens ended the WECSSAA Tier 1 regular season end last Tuesday night with a loss.

Poor shooting from the free throw line was cited as one of the main reasons the Lady Gens fell 39-36 to the Sandwich Sabres in a game played last Tuesday night in LaSalle. The Lady Gens shot only 3-for-19 from the free throw line.

“That definitely didn’t help matters,” said General Amherst head coach Dom Silvaggio. “If we shoot 50 per cent from the free throw line, we win easily. You can’t go 3-for-19 and expect to win at senior basketball.”

Lexi Dodds was in foul trouble most of the game and would eventually foul out, he stated. Dani Brindley played well, Silvaggio added as she his crucial three-point shots in the game. Brynlee Ammonite led the Lady Gens in scoring against the Sabres with 12 points while Emma Pillon, who was called up from junior, had seven points in limited playing time.

Despite the loss, Silvaggio said the game meant little in the Tier 1 standings. He pointed out that he played most of the players equally in order to get everyone in the game.

Silvaggio didn’t know what to expect from his team come playoff time. The first game is Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m. at General Amherst against the visiting Catholic Central Comets.

“It’s hard to say because we’re so inconsistent,” he said of his team’s chances. The Comets were undefeated in Tier 2 while the Lady Gens were 2-8 in Tier 1 playing against larger schools.

If the Lady Gens advance past the Comets, they would run into a young and athletic team that already has beaten the Lady Gens this season.

Lady Gens battle St. Anne and Villanova on the court



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst Lady Gens are still a work in progress after dropping to 1-5 last week.

The Lady Gens most recent game was a 36-23 loss at Villanova, a game in which was possibly their most frustrating effort of the season. The Lady Gens trailed 16-6 at the half and head coach Dom Silvaggio couldn’t grasp why the Lady Gens played so poorly in the opening 16 minutes of play.

“I was at a loss for words,” he said.

Recalling their better effort versus top teams like Holy Names and Lajeunesse, Silvaggio was hoping his team would have shown the same type of effort against Villanova. They played better in the third quarter, even tying the game at 18 at one point, before Villanova went on a run to take a 24-19 lead after three quarters.

The third quarter showed what they are capable of, he said, but the play fell off a bit in the fourth quarter.

General Amherst’s Taja Holmes drives to the basket during an Oct. 11 WECSSAA senior girls basketball game at Villanova.

Silvaggio pointed out they weren’t good from the free throw line, either. The Lady Gens shot six-for-28 from the charity stripe.

“We’re going to struggle offensively,” he said. “What bothered me (Thursday night) was the lack of defensive intensity.”

The game was “very, very frustrating” at points and believed they had a shot to beat Villanova, whom he believed was a relatively evenly-matched opponent.

“There were so many unforced turnovers,” he added. “This is a game we could have won. If we played better in the first half, would the result have been different?”

The previous game was a 54-18 loss at home to the St. Anne Saints.

One player hit seven three-point shots, said Silvaggio, stating that they didn’t play well enough defensively against her.

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds (35) tries to dribble away from a Villanova defender during the Oct. 11 game.

“There was no one in her face at all,” said Silvaggio. “That was the most disappointing part of that game.”

The Lady Gens played well in spurts against St. Anne, he added, but they couldn’t string an entire game together.

General Amherst hosted Kennedy Tuesday night after the print issue of the RTT went to press in what is the only game this week for the Lady Gens.

Lady Gens compete at University of Western Invitational


Special to the RTT

The General Amherst senior girls’ basketball team took part in the 32-team University of Western Invitational this past weekend.

In their opening game Amherst ended up on the short end of a 46-41 score in a highly competitive game against St. Thomas Aquinas from London. Lexi Dodds hit 13 of 14 of her free throws and ended up with a game high 31 points. Also scoring for Amherst were Ramie Tytgat with five, Dani Brindley with three and Taja Holmes with two points.

In their next game against Brantford Assumption, General Amherst trailed only by three at the half but had trouble finding the bottom of the basket in the second half and lost 38-25. Tytgat and Dodds had five points each in the game followed by Hannah Bauer with four and Holmes, Brindley and Emma Marshall all had three points each. Alyssa Herd rounded off the scoring with two points and Madison Pillon led the team in rebounds.

In their final game of the tournament, General Amherst led 31-11 after three quarters and coasted to a 39-21 victory over Waterloo Collegiate. Taja Holmes played a strong defensive game and led the team in steals. Lexi Dodds paced the scoring with 19, Dani Brindley had six, Emma Marshall had five, Madi Pillon had three and Taja Holmes, Breana Farias and Hannah Bauer all had two points each.

Amherst will have an exhibition game this Thursday against Brennan at home at 4:15 p.m.