General Amherst

Lady Gens lose first match of 2018-19 WECSSAA volleyball season

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens emerged from the Christmas break with a match against Holy Names but it didn’t go the way they wanted.

The Lady Gens dropped to 6-1 on the WECSSAA Tier 1 senior girls volleyball season after the Knights left Amherstburg with a 25-19, 29-27 and 25-23 victory last Thursday night. It was their first match back for the Lady Gens as they had a bye last Tuesday.

General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller indicated that they haven’t been playing as well as they could have been lately and that it caught up with them.

General Amherst’s Vanessa Pidutti leaps for a ball during last Thursday’s match versus Holy Names.

“We finally got what we deserved,” said Miller. “We got away with it at the start of the year and we finally played a team that played well enough in crucial situations that made us pay for our mistakes.”

The biggest issue for the Lady Gens has been their communication, Miller stated.

“That’s one of the hardest things to teach to kids,” he said. “Kids today love cell phones so it’s difficult to get them to speak at sports fields or sports arenas.”

Noting that there is always something happening in volleyball, Miller noted that communication is “humungous.”

General Amherst’s Emma MacVoy lunges for a ball during last week’s loss to the Holy Names Knights.

“I’ve been harping on this for weeks now but I don’t think it sunk in because we were winning games,” said Miller.

Miller added that if communication and discipline doesn’t improve, the Lady Gens could have a tough time beating some of the talented opponents that are upcoming on their schedule. Two of those tough matches come this week. The Lady Gens were at Villanova Tuesday, after the print issue of the RTT went to press. They return home to host the Sandwich Sabres Thursday at 4 p.m. before concluding the season Jan. 21 with a 4 p.m. home game versus St. Joseph.

Lady Gens battle goalie injury bug again this season

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens were in action on the ice last week and the coaches were proud of their effort, despite the losses.

The Lady Gens fell 3-0 in Kingsville last Wednesday afternoon before heading to Essex the following day. The latter game saw General Amherst lose 6-0 but head coach Dan Pettypiece said the coaching staff was happy with their effort as they had to find a new goalie within the team as regular goalie Jaiden Stiles missed the game with a dislocated finger.

Phoebe Trealout stepped up and switched positions despite no previous experience playing goal.

Pettypiece said it was the third straight year the Lady Gens faced game action without their regular goalie, but he added that Trealout played well.

“The way she played in the first two periods gave us a chance to win,” said Pettypiece.

Pettypiece added of the team’s effort versus Essex: “We were really proud of the effort they showed today.”

The game versus Essex was played nine years to the day of the passing of Corey Meloche. Meloche was one of the players that helped found the girls hockey program at General Amherst but was killed in a snowmobiling accident.

Meloche’s jersey hung behind the General Amherst bench.

General Amherst’s Abby Bondy (19, left) escapes a check from an Essex player during last week’s game in Essex. The Red Raiders beat the Lady Gens 6-0.

“We wanted to dedicate the game to her and keep her spirit going,” said Pettypiece. “We try to tell the story of Corey and what she meant in getting this program started. She went above and beyond the call to get the girls hockey team started at General Amherst.”

If the Lady Gens had scored on some of the chances they had earlier in the game in Essex last Thursday, things may have turned out differently, Pettypiece speculated.

“If we buried a couple of those early chances, who knows? Hockey is a funny game,” he said.

Pettypiece added that the Lady Gens are a young team and have been playing against teams with a lot of older players.

“There’s a great amount of potential in that dressing room and they will be great in years to come,” he said.

Layne Sinasac said her teammate Trealout did a good job in net.

“It got pretty frustrating at the end,” she added after the Essex game. “The girls were so mean but we dealt with it.”

“The goalie is the toughest job on the team,” added Trealout. “Goalies deserve most of the credit.”

Trealout said she is usually on the other side shooting pucks at goalies, so she got a different perspective when she had pucks shot at her.

Bulldogs fall to 0-3 after loss against undefeated St. Anne team

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The toughest part of the General Amherst Bulldogs boys hockey team schedule is the early portion but they are fighting their way through it.

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 on the WECSSAA boys hockey season after a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the St. Anne Saints last Thursday afternoon at the Libro Centre. The win boosted St. Anne’s record to 5-0.

Jacob Howson scored the Bulldogs only goal of the game, as he poked home a rebound midway through the third period. The Bulldogs were without their number one goal Jacob Lister as he missed the game due to illness.

General Amherst head coach Pat Garrett believes the young team is making progress.

Jacob Howson of the General Amherst Bulldogs breaks in for a scoring chance during last Thursday afternoon’s WECSSAA boys hockey game against the St. Anne Saints.

“I think we’re coming,” said Garrett. “I think our backup goalies did a great job.”

The Bulldogs trailed 3-0 heading into the third period and Garrett said their goal at that point was just to win the third period, which they did.

“I’m really impressed with the young players,” he said. “The Grade 9’s and 10’s played well. That’s exciting for the future.”

Garrett called the 2018-19 WECSSAA schedule “front loaded” with the games with the larger, stronger schools at the beginning and the games with schools similarly sized to General Amherst towards the latter portion of the season. The Bulldogs have four league games over the next two weeks heading into the Christmas break as well as a tournament.

“We’re going to get an opportunity to put six or seven games together,” he said. “I think we’ll be a much better team once we get those games in.”

Drake McGowan gets a shot on goal during last Thursday’s game at the Libro Centre.

Garrett said they only have a handful of skaters and one goalie back from last year, but he is happy with the talent level he sees on the young Bulldogs team. He notes most of the team are new faces and that they are performing better than expected.

“It’s quite a bit different,” he said of this year’s team, as they usually have more players that returned from the previous year.

The Bulldogs played Tuesday against L’Essor at Tecumseh Arena after the print issue of the RTT went to press. They host Tecumseh Vista Academy at the Libro Centre Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

 

Lady Gens looking forward to good season on the volleyball court

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Even though the General Amherst Lady Gens are hosting the OFSAA “AA” girls volleyball championship this season, they want to earn their way there instead of just playing in it as the host team.

Head coach Jeff Miller is optimistic about the current season, as WECSSAA play begins this week. The Lady Gens, who will play in WECSSAA Tier 1, could be formidable this season.

“It is our best group of athletes in the last three or four years,” said Miller. “I’m hoping we’re in the top four in the Windsor-Essex area.”

General Amherst’s Lexi Dodds (4) hits the ball into the air during the Lady Gens’ 3-0 win over
the visiting Tecumseh Vista Academy Vortex last Thursday afternoon.

By playing in Tier 1, it means the Lady Gens will be matched up against larger Windsor schools. When the playoffs come around in early 2019, the Lady Gens will be matched up against similar sized schools and Miller believes they will have a shot at a championship.

“I think it’s a legitimate goal to win (the WECSSAA) ‘AA’ senior title,” he said.

The Lady Gens have a lot of depth this season, with Miller stating they have players that have come up from junior plus numerous returning players.

“We have ten kids that I feel comfortable playing,” said Miller. “We haven’t had that for a couple of years.”

The increased depth allows the coaches to make in-game adjustments, he pointed out.

Miller said they want to enter the provincial tournament, which sees matches at General Amherst High School and the St. Clair College Sportsplex March 4-6, as champions.

“I think it would be nice to win Windsor-Essex and SWOSSAA and, even though we are hosting it, earn our way there,” said Miller.

Brynlee Ammonite (1, white jersey) spikes a ball back over the net during General Amherst’s win last Thursday afternoon.

Should they win WECSSAA and SWOSSAA, they would get a better seed at OFSAA, Miller stated.

The Lady Gens started the WECSSAA Tier 1 season in positive fashion last week, with a pair of wins. General Amherst swept all three sets in Kingsville by scores of 25-10, 25-11 and 25-16. The Lady Gens returned home Thursday afternoon and swept Tecumseh Vista Academy by scores of 25-16, 25-15 and 25-16.

The Lady Gens are on the road twice this week. Tuesday night’s game at Massey was played after this issue of the River Town Times went to press.

General Amherst plays at Kennedy Thursday at 4 p.m.

Lady Gens start girls hockey season with win and loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens are back on the ice for another WECSSAA hockey season and the first week saw a win and a loss.

The Lady Gens played in a pair of 3-1 game, one being a win over Lajeunesse and the second a loss to Kingsville. In last Wednesday’s win over Lajeunesse, the Lady Gens got goals from Layne Sinasac, Cassidy Atkinson and Sydney Doyle.

“I was pretty happy to start off with a win,” said head coach Dan Pettypiece. “We have a young team, younger than last year.”

General Amherst’s Sam Connell (87, left) takes a shot during third period action against Lajeunesse last Wednesday afternoon at the Libro Centre.

The Lady Gens are made up of one Grade 12 player, two Grade 11 players with the rest in Grades 9 and 10. Pettypiece said many of the younger players still have to “feel their way” through high school hockey and adapt to the speed of the game. He said the Grade 9’s are a “strong group” but they are still learning.

Much like last year, Pettypiece said the team is comprised of a lot of girls who are respectful and fun to coach.

“It’s a really nice group to work with,” said Pettypiece. “They are very respectful and attentive. I think we are going to have a lot of fun with them this year.”

Pettypiece said last year’s team helped re-energize the coaches and reminded him of his love of coaching.

“When it’s enjoyable, you don’t want to leave it,” he said.

The Lady Gens “took their lumps” in a tournament earlier this season, losing to Villanova and Sandwich before beating Kingsville. The Cavaliers returned the favour in league play last Thursday, in a game that had to be rescheduled due to a fog day earlier the week.

As the Lady Gens are young again this year, Pettypiece said they are tempering their expectations with them. They are learning game-by-game.

“For the most part, you have to be patient with them,” he said.

Cassidy Atkinson (67, right) fires home a second period goal last Wednesday
afternoon in the Lady Gens’ 3-1 victory.

Abby Laframboise said after last Wednesday’s victory over Lajeunesse that “I thought the girls did a really well for the first home game” but noted there is room for improvement.

“It’s nice to start off with a win,” said Laframboise.

Carlie Hayes thought they played well against Lajeunesse, but also agreed there was room for improvement.

“It was a good start for sure,” she said after last Wednesday’s game.

The Lady Gens now have five straight road games. They were in Tecumseh last Monday, after this issue of the RTT went to press, for a game against Tecumseh Vista Academy and play in Windsor versus Lajeunesse Dec. 3.

Their next game at the Libro Centre isn’t until Jan. 14 against the Essex Red Raiders.