Horton Boys, KISH Girls win volleyball ch’ships
Members of the Horton Griffins display the final score from their marathon third set 45-43 victory over Charlottetown Rural in the gold medal final of the Woverine Volleyball Classic. Sharing in the moment with them are members of the thrid place Cobequid Cougars and fourth place Westisle Wolverines.
Jason Rayner photo
ELMSDALE -- Peter Bolo has been coaching high school volleyball for 37 years and says he has never even heard tell of a match going the way the final of the Westisle Wolverines Volleyball Classic Boys’ tournament went Saturday.
The Horton Griffins from Wolfville, NS played Charlottetown Rural for gold in the 10-team boys tournament. The Griffins won the first set of the best-of-three final 25-18, but Rural rebounded to tae the second set 25-16. The deciding sets ordinarily go to 15 points, but a two-point differential is always needed to win.
“What followed over the next 30 minutes was amazing,’ recounted Bolo, coach of the host Wolverines. “Both teams fought fatigue and battled point for point. It looked at times like it was going to be over but then one team or the other found a way to get the point they needed to keep the match going. Both teams played fearlessly.”
The Griffins finally prevailed, 45-43, the equivalent of three games in one.
“This was so intense and I am so excited for, and proud of, our guys,” said Griffins coach Lisa DePaoli. “We did not think we were even going to make the playoff round after losing our first 2 games of the tournament. This result is so hard to put into words. I am exhausted. I can’t imagine how the players must feel.”
Rural coach Joe Ryan expressed similar sentiments. “That was unreal. It is a tough one to lose after fighting so hard. We had our chances to finish things off and so did Horton. Kudos go to all the players. There were no losers in this match. Fans were certainly treated to something special that they will probably never see again.”
Kensington won the eight-team girls tournament, beating Bluefield 21-25, 28-26, 16-14 in the final.
The host Westisle1 Girls and Westisle Boys teams both finished first in their respective pools at the end of round-robin play, but both ended up fourth overall.
In the girls tournament, Bluefield defeated the hosts 25-20, 25-20 in one semi-final while Kensington got by Colonel Gray 25-21, 23-25, 15-13 in the other. Colonel Gray defeated Westisle 25-23, 25-19 for bronze.
In the boys tournament, Horton, who barely made it to the championship round with their 2-2 round-robin record, defeated Colonel Gray and Charlottetown Rural beat Sackville, both two games to none. The semi-finals proved to be rematches of both the P.E.I. and Nova Scotia provincial finals from last year. Charlottetown Rural made it three wins in a row over Westisle, winning their semi-final match-up Saturday18-25, 25-22, 15-19 while Horton disposed the 2012 Nova Scotia champions, Cobequid Education Centre from Truro 25-16, 25-22 in the other semifinal.
Cobequid went on to win bronze in the Wolverine Classic, beating their hosts 25-13, 25-19 while Horton went on to win their third straight Wolverine Classic championship.
The tournament allstar team consisted of Kent Doucette (Westisle), Ben Chisholm (CEC), Mark Lloyd and Brayden White (Rural) and Brad Stewart (Horton). The tournament MVP was Jonah Brodeur from Horton.
Standings after round-robin play:
Bluefield ldefeated West kings 1 in the seventh place game a nd Tree Oaks defeated West Kings 2 to take ninth place.
Boys, Blue Pool
Westisle, 4-0; Colonel Gray, 3-1; Sackville, 2-2; Bluefield, 1-3; West Kings 2, 0-4.
Cobequid, 3-1; Charlottetown Rural, 3-1; Orton, 2-2; West Kings1, 1-3; Three Oaks, 1-3.
Girls, Pool A
Westisle1, 2. Colonel Gray, 3. Charlottetown Rural, 4. Three Oaks2.
1. Kensington, 2 Bluefield, 3. Three Oaks1, 4. Westisle2
Wolverine Classic organizers extended thanks to the Westisle Leadership class for helping to run the two tournaments and to parents and fans for their support. Sponsors of the tournament were: Holland Collage, Rodd Mill River Resort Subway, OLeray Guardian Drug, KFC and Greco.