Jeff Miller

Lady Gens rebound after season opening volleyball loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

After a season opening defeat at the hands of a strong Kingsville Cavalier team last Tuesday, the General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team rebounded well two days later.

The Lady Gens lost 25-13, 25-10 and 25-8 in Kingsville but then swept the visiting Massey Mustangs 25-19, 25-22 and 25-15 in a match played at General Amherst High School to even their WECSSAA Tier 1 record at 1-1.

General Amherst’s Vanessa Pidutti spikes the ball during last Thursday evening’s senior girls volleyball match against Massey.

“We played much better today,” General Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said after Thursday’s match. “We played to our ability level. We played a much better defensive effort. We moved on defense and then we were more fluid on offence.”

Miller said the first game against Kingsville was tough as the Cavaliers return the bulk of their players from a team that went to OFSAA last season.

“We struggled and they jumped right on us and made us pay,” said Miller. “They gave us a serious kick in the butt.”
The Lady Gens rebounded well against a team in Massey that they thought going in they could beat if they played well.

Miller said they need Vanessa Pidutti and Emery Lucier, the latter a Grade 9 player, to be good outside hitters. They were able to be that against the Mustangs.

General Amherst went up against the Massey Mustangs last Thursday evening. Payton Laing hits the ball back across the net.

“(Thursday), they kind of dominated the game offensively. They didn’t make many errors and got a bunch of hits. They played the way they need to play if we want to get a bunch of wins.”

The Lady Gens’ success in Tier 2 last year moved them back up into the top tier this season but Miller said the program continues to develop. General Amherst hosts OFSAA next year and while they want to do well this season, the Lady Gens also have an eye for the future.

“We’re building for next year and beyond,” said Miller.

Lucier believed the Lady Gens played well Thursday, adding they “got better as the match went on.”

Emery Lucier spikes the ball over the outstretched arms of a Massey defender.

The Kingsville game was a difficult one, she stated, as she thought the team let the fact they were playing Kingsville get into their heads and drain their confidence before the match even started. She said she has been welcomed to the team as a Grade 9 player and enjoys the level of competition in senior girls volleyball.

“It’s harder but it’s going to challenge me and the team to play better,” she said.

Lucier added the focus is this season.

“I want to win,” she said.

The Lady Gens were at St. Joseph Tuesday after this issue went to press but have a 7 p.m. home game Thursday against Tecumseh Vista Academy.

Local golfer wraps up successful season, goes to OFSAA

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local youth golfer did well this past season, including strong performances with his school’s golf team.

Josh DiCarlo of General Amherst High School was the individual SWOSSAA champion shooting a -4 (68) at the SWOSSAA championship.  He went on to OFSAA and fired rounds of 73-78 – 151 (+7) in some pretty tough conditions to finish 18th out of 120 players at the OFSAA Championship.

The 16-year-old Grade 11 student said that he made five birdies as part of the SWOSSAA tournament and was happy with how he shot in the first round at OFSAA.

“My mind stayed in the moment,” he said.

DiCarlo said conditions were hard both days and was also satisfied with his second day at OFSAA.

“It was hitting my drives well. The putts weren’t falling,” he said. “I still had fun with the kids I played with.”

General Amherst golfer Josh DiCarlo finished first at SWOSSAA and finished a respectable 18th out of 120 golfers at OFSAA.

DiCarlo is no stranger to tournament success, winning five times in 2017 on the AJGA, GAO and MJT golf circuits, the latter being a tournament in Calgary. He also finished sixth on the Jamieson Tour.

Noting that he would still like to strengthen the mental aspect of his game, DiCarlo said he likes the individual challenges of golf.

“I like how you can’t blame anyone for a mistake,” he said. “It’s all on you.”

DiCarlo said his love of golf started when he went with his father Mark to Oxley to play and his passion grew to where he golfs daily at Pointe West when the whether permits. He plays in tournaments across Ontario, travels to Ohio and elsewhere when he is given the opportunity.

“I’m hoping to get a scholarship,” he said. “I’m going to keep working hard and keep my grades up.”

DiCarlo also thanked his parents Mark and Michelle for “for allowing me to play the sport I love” and General Amherst golf coach Jeff Miller for “everything he does for the golf program.”

Lady Gens lose in WECSSAA Tier 2 volleyball semi-finals

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team had a stronger than expected regular season but could advance no further than the WECSSAA Tier 2 semi-finals.

The Lady Gens were eliminated from the playoffs last Tuesday afternoon by the Kingsville Cavaliers, with visiting Kingsville winning 25-12, 25-21 and 25-12. Despite the loss, the Amherst coaches weren’t overly surprised with the outcome given the strengths and weaknesses of both teams.

General Amherst’s Jackie Wismer (3) hits the ball during WECSSAA AA semi-final volleyball action last Tuesday afternoon. Kingsville came to town and swept the Lady Gens in three straight sets.

General Amherst’s Jackie Wismer (3) hits the ball during WECSSAA AA semi-final volleyball action last Tuesday afternoon. Kingsville came to town and swept the Lady Gens in three straight sets.

“It was what I expected,” said Amherst head coach Jeff Miller.

“We would have had to have been perfect,” added assistant coach Mary Ewer.

Miller said they were hoping to steal a set, something they almost did in the second set, and put pressure on Kingsville but they were ultimately unable to change the momentum of the match.

“(Kingsville) got a couple of kills and a couple of good serves,” said Miller.

Even though they lost in the semi-finals, the coaches were still happy with the season.

Head coach Jeff Miller discusses strategy with the General Amherst Lady Gens during the Feb. 14 WECSSAA semi-final match that was eventually won by Kingsville.

Head coach Jeff Miller discusses strategy with the General Amherst Lady Gens during the Feb. 14 WECSSAA semi-final match that was eventually won by Kingsville.

“Overall, I’d say the season was a success,” said Miller, noting they were 9-1 in the regular season. “I never thought we would have made it to the final four in AA.”

Ewer called this year’s Lady Gens a dedicated group of girls to coach.

Miller believed that when General Amherst hosts the OFSAA AA volleyball championship in two years, the Lady Gens will be a true contender. He envisions next year being similar to this year in that it will be another year of building up the volleyball program and getting athletic students experience at playing the sport.

Lady Gens win two and lose one in volleyball action

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens senior girls volleyball team won two matches and lost a close third one to finish the WECSSAA Tier 2 regular season at 9-1.

After cruising to a three-set victory over visiting Maranatha (25-18, 25-15, 25-16), the Lady Gens closed the week with a pair of competitive matches. The first came at Walkerville where the Lady Gens won two games to one (25-20, 18-25, 25-21) and the second was back at General Amherst Thursday evening, which Brennan won two games to one (19-25, 25-15, 20-25).

Bryanna France (12) sets the ball during the General Amherst-Brennan volleyball match last Thursday afternoon.

Bryanna France (12) sets the ball during the General Amherst-Brennan volleyball match last Thursday afternoon.

Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said they were expecting a tough match against Brennan, as they were one-two in the Tier 2 standings. With the Lady Gens gaining a victory in one set, it ensures they will finish ahead of the Cardinals come playoff time.

“I knew it was going to be the best match of the year,” said Miller.

Assistant coach Mary Ewer said the Lady Gens started out the first set against Brennan down 11-1 but fought back to make it close. She said the momentum carried over into the second set but Brennan got the momentum back in the third game.

“All in all, it was a tough match,” she said. “We played well. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, there was a lot of that.”

“We’ve just got to control what we can control,” said Miller.

Gracie Clifford (1) and Reese Jones (8) attempt to block a Brennan shot at the net during the second game of the three-game match that Amherst played last Thursday.

Gracie Clifford (1) and Reese Jones (8) attempt to block a Brennan shot at the net during the second game of the three-game match that Amherst played last Thursday.

Miller said once they started playing defense against the Cardinals, the match started to tighten up.

Even though AA-sized schools will drop down from Tier 1 for the playoffs, Miller expects the Lady Gens to still be in the top four.

“We’ve probably exceed expectations up to this point,” said Miller. “Now we’re going into the playoffs and we get to see what we are made of.”
The playoffs are expected to start in early February after the high school exam break.

 

 

Lady Gens win twice before the holiday break

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Lady Gens entered the Christmas break with a pair of wins in WECSSAA Tier 2 volleyball action.

The Lady Gens finished the week Dec. 22 with a three-game sweep of the visiting Leamington Lions. General Amherst won the first game 25-11 and after they trailed 2-0 in the second game, they rattled off 12 straight points en route to a 25-10 win in the second game.

Reese Jones (8, left) and Payton Laing try to block a shot at the net against Leamington Dec. 22. General Amherst won in three straight games.

Reese Jones (8, left) and Payton Laing try to block a shot at the net against Leamington Dec. 22. General Amherst won in three straight games.

The Lady Gens finished the match with a 25-12 win in the third and final game.

“I thought they played well tonight,” Amherst head coach Jeff Miller said after the game. “We played our game. We passed well. We served tough.”

“I thought they played great tonight. Not so great Tuesday night, but great tonight,” added assistant coach Mary Ewer.

The other game Ewer referred to was a two-games-to-one win over the Assumption Purple Raiders, a game played two days earlier at General Amherst. The Lady Gens won that game 22-25, 25-15 and 25-13.

General Amherst is 6-0 on the season. Miller said “so far we’ve had a good year” but agreed with Ewer that the Assumption game was their worst effort of the season.

Emma Blanchette gets her hands in front of a ball during recent General Amherst volleyball action against the Leamington Lions.

Emma Blanchette gets her hands in front of a ball during recent General Amherst volleyball action against the Leamington Lions.

There are good teams coming up on the Lady Gens’ schedule but so far, so good for Amherst.

“We got it going in the right direction going into the break,” said Miller. “They are progressing at a good rate.”

The Lady Gens still have to work at “tidying things up on our end” as well as improving communication. Miller was glad to see the Christmas break hit as it gives everyone some time to rest and energize them for the 2017 portion of the schedule, which resumes Jan. 12 at Catholic Central.

“Hopefully we can improve in the new year and go as far as we can go,” said Miller.