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EDSS junior girls’ volleyball squad perfect through first three games

Three games into the regular season the junior girls’ volleyball team hasn’t lost a single set.

First up on the chopping block, Huron Heights Secondary School. On Nov. 29, EDSS won three sets in a row, 25-13, 25-18, 25-17.

On Dec. 1, Eastwood Collegiate Institute fell to the lady Lancers in three sets, and coach Alex Derma says it was no contest.

“They were a weak team, so it is hard to gauge the team talent,” he said, adding that even with the easy win, the matchup prepared for the rest of the season. “It was a quick game, but it helps us get our depth going really quickly which is going to help us against the big teams that we are going to be playing after Christmas.”

Tuesday night saw another big win for the girls, bumping, serving and blocking their way to another three-set sweep, although this game was a little bit closer (25-20, 25-14, 25-21).

With their on-fire start to the year, Derma says he has high hopes for the rest of the year.

“To be honest, finishing high is the goal as long as we see it in the team and easily for us. Top four is feasible,” he said. “It will be nice to see where we go from there because I think we have some high-level potential to move further. Trying to get the girls focused, just one game at a time. The next game is the one that matters. It is harder when we have really good opponents ahead of us, and we are still learning.”

The junior girls’ volleyball team is off to a hot start, currently sitting undefeated in the regular season after three games. The team goes up against Bluevale CI this afternoon.[Liz Bevan / The Observer]
The junior girls’ volleyball team is off to a hot start, currently sitting undefeated in the regular season after three games. The team goes up against Bluevale CI this afternoon. [Liz Bevan / The Observer]

The team is made up of a pretty much even split between Grade 9 and Grade 10 girls, and with some new faces on the roster, Derma and the rest of the coaching staff has some work to do.

“This is the first year that we don’t have any club players in Grade 9, so they haven’t played at this level before. It is about teaching them the rules, the basics and the special little things they didn’t know before or don’t necessarily learn in gym class. Skill development takes the longest, and court awareness is the hardest. We are trying to get them in as much as we can.”

The experienced Grade 10 girls will have a busy and hard season ahead of them.

“We have about four returning Grade 10s right now and a lot of them come with a lot of experience from last year and three of them play club or have played club volleyball,” he said. “They are very, very good. I think those three are potentially the best in the league. Two are centers and one is a power. They stand out. They are going to be asked to carry the load a bit this year and see where we go with it.”

The rest of the season will present a bit of a challenge for the girls, with the more competitive teams on the schedule after the Christmas break, Derma organized exhibition games and two tournaments to get the team familiar with the game.

The team’s next game is against Bluevale Collegiate Institute this afternoon (Dec. 8).

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