Junior girls golden in taking top spot at CWOSSA, while the senior team took it to the limit in finalsA small school showed big heart as Woodland Christian High School’s junior girls volleyball teams dominated the season at the Central Western Ontario Secondary School Association (CWOSSA) championship last week. Their senior counterparts at the Breslau school also made a splash this season.
“It was a strong season for the girls, a very high calibre of play in our local league, district 8, in junior girls’ volleyball – some of the strongest teams at that level that we’ve seen in a really long time,” said athletic director Jamie Wright.
“Our girls were close to the top all year.”
The senior girls finished third in the regular-season standings. Once in the playoffs, they won their quarterfinal match against Cambridge’s Père-René-de-Galinée Catholic School before moving on to the semifinals against St. David’s in a close match, Wright said.
“It was best-of-five and they went to the fifth set and lost a very close one 15-13 in the fifth set, so that’s pretty much as close as you can get. St. David’s went on to win the final in district 8 easily over Resurrection. In essence, the semifinal was the final. By the end of the game, they were the second-best team in district 8.”
Based on that performance in the local league, Woodland’s juniors went undefeated at CWOSSA.
“They didn’t lose a set all day in any of their matches,” said Wright.
The junior Cavaliers defeated Valley Heights, Georgian Bay and Chesley schools, and then faced Valley Heights again in the final to win the gold medal after two sets, 25-17 and 25-14.
The young team was made up of returning Grade 10 players and one from Grade 9, a rare formation, Wright said, and one that yielded an advantage.
“It’s a very talented team athletically and in terms of skills. We had a couple of players who play with club volleyball teams, so that’s certainly a bonus. But it was just a strong team who worked together well and has been working together for two years now. They’ve been playing for two years solid now which is unusual for a junior team. They’ve had a chance to develop a lot, to gel the team and work together.”
Last year, the girls had a very good season as well. They finished in third place in district 8 and finished second at CWOSSA with mostly Grade 9 girls on the team.
The senior girls left the district 8 games in sixth place, though very close to the fourth and fifth-place teams, said Wright. They lost a close bout with Père-René-de-Galinée in the qualifying round for CWOSSA.
“Only one school from our district gets to go to CWOSSA and they lost out by just a few points, so a close match. Père-René ended up going on to win CWOSSA so we were that close to making it to CWOSSA and then the team we lost to ended up winning the whole thing,” he added.
Overall, volleyball holds a place as the school’s strongest winter sport this year, said Wright.