General Amherst Lady Gens

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.

Lady Gens hockey team goes into the exam break with a thud



By Ron Giofu


The General Amherst girls hockey team didn’t go into the exam break the way they wanted to.

The Lady Gens hosted the Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex last Monday afternoon at the Libro Centre but came away with a 7-0 loss. It was the final regular season game for the Lady Gens and they will enter the WECSSAA playoffs with a record of one win, five losses and four ties, good for six points.

“That was, by far, the worst effort of the season,” said General Amherst head coach Dan Pettypiece. “There was no fight, no determination. They know it but we told it to them anyway.”

The Lady Gens had been playing better, he believed, as they had solid efforts in previous games against the Essex Red Raiders and the Holy Names Knights. However, the game against Tecumseh Vista Academy was a letdown for them.

“Any team is going to beat us if we played like we did today,” Pettypiece said after the game.

Carlie Hayes (left) brings the puck up the ice during recent WECSSAA girls hockey action at the Libro Centre.

General Amherst played with little to no patience, he noted, as they couldn’t wait to get rid of the puck once they got it on their sticks.

“There was zero patience,” said Pettypiece.

Pettypiece added the coaches are telling players to slow down with the puck but play fast without it. He said there was a lot of standing around against Tecumseh Vista Academy.

“It looked like table hockey,” he said.

The Lady Gens have to be able to pay the price as they put this game behind them. It was not a good way to enter the playoffs, Pettypiece said, though the playoffs are not expected to start until early February.

“They have to come a long distance back to get back to where they were,” said Pettypiece.

Abby Laframboise agreed that it wasn’t that Lady Gens best effort.

“It wasn’t our strongest game, for sure,” said Laframboise.

Laframboise said they can play better and “we’re really eager to put this game behind us and give it our best effort in the playoffs.”

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.