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Strong finish sees senior boys earn bye to WCSSAA volleyball quarter-finals

The EDSS senior boys’ volleyball squad is off to the WCSSAA quarter-finals. Back row: Owen Kidnie, Keaton Weiss, Justin Lebold, Robbie Mazzocca, Daniel Howell. Middle row: assistant coach Melanie Austin, Quentin Mayer, Zach Wideman, Ben Straus, Callum Johnson, head coach Adam Hiller. Front row: Nicholas Pavanel and Eric Devos. [Scott Barber / The Observer]

The Elmira District Secondary School senior boys’ volleyball team edged Bluevale Collegiate Institute (25-16, 28-30, 25-18, 22-25, 15-8) on home court Tuesday afternoon, finishing the regular season with a sparkling 10-2 record.

The EDSS senior boys’ volleyball squad is off to the WCSSAA quarter-finals. Back row: Owen Kidnie, Keaton Weiss, Justin Lebold, Robbie Mazzocca, Daniel Howell. Middle row: assistant coach Melanie Austin, Quentin Mayer, Zach Wideman, Ben Straus, Callum Johnson, head coach Adam Hiller. Front row: Nicholas Pavanel and Eric Devos. [Scott Barber / The Observer]
The EDSS senior boys’ volleyball squad is off to the WCSSAA quarter-finals. Back row: Owen Kidnie, Keaton Weiss, Justin Lebold, Robbie Mazzocca, Daniel Howell. Middle row: assistant coach Melanie Austin, Quentin Mayer, Zach Wideman, Ben Straus, Callum Johnson, head coach Adam Hiller. Front row: Nicholas Pavanel and Eric Devos. [Scott Barber / The Observer]
The victory sealed a third-place finish for the Lancers and a bye through to the Waterloo County Secondary School Athletics Association (WCSSAA) quarter-finals at 3:15 p.m. November 4 at EDSS.

“The group made some costly mistakes, but they were able to clean up their game and really put on a strong showing in the fifth (set),” head coach Adam Hiller said after the match. “Going forward, they’re going to need to show more consistency if they’re going to be able to compete with the top teams.”

The squad started out strong, easily taking the opening set 25-16. But BCI was able to narrowly escape with the second 30-28 after a number of controversial calls by the official went against the home side.

The teams traded the next two sets before EDSS finally showed the skill and teamwork that has led the group to such a strong season so far in the tie-breaker, winning 15-8.

“This is the best season we have had in a long time,” Hiller said. “We have a group of hard working guys who are really good athletes. Many of the team members have been playing together now for three years, and they gel together nicely.”

He continued, “They are good friends with each other as well, so they really enjoy practicing and going to games as a group.”

Last year, the team finished third in WCSSAA and they are looking to better that achievement this season.

“It’s going to be tough; there are a lot of talented teams out there,” Hiller said. “But these guys come to practice everyday looking to improve, and if they play their game and clean up some of the mistakes, we could do really well going forward.”

Meanwhile, the junior boys’ team lost to BCI 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-14), ending their regular season with a 1-9 record. They looked to keep their season alive on the road in the WCSSAA qualifying round October 30 against Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School.

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