Rockwood, McNab kings and queens of county volleyball court
Célina Ip / Daily Observer: Rockwood Public School's girls volleyball team claimed the Renfrew County Elementary Interscholastic Athletic Association (RCEIAA) Grade 8 Girls County Champions. Pictured in back, left to right: coach Krista Gauthier, Emily Mackenzie, Chelsea Sennett, Cassidy McEvoy, Merrie Hammel, Keanna Mackinnon and coach Carrie McDonald. Pictured in front, left to right: Ashley Burell, Hazel Duchrow, Payton Gilchrist and Megan Keuhl.
Rockwood girls and McNab boys served up two impressive victories to be crowned the 2016 county champions of the volleyball court.
The day-long Renfrew County Elementary Interscholastic Athletic Association (RCEIAA) Grade 8 Tournament of Champions, which took place at Champlain Discovery School on Nov. 30, pit the best teams from the east against the best from west.
The six best Grade 8 girls volleyball teams from Renfrew County faced off in one gym while the top six Grade 8 boys teams went head-to-head in another gym.
Having gone undefeated, winning all of their round robin and playoff games, the McNab boys confidently strode into the finals to battle Bishop Smith Gold for first place.
Despite a shaky start, the defending champions finished strong and beat Bishop in two straight sets (25-11 and 25-22) to take home the county title for the Eastern Division.
McNab coach Angie Miller expressed how it was her boys’ raw passion and determination that pushed them to the top.
“These boys are the most awesome athletes that have been at McNab. They actually are undefeated in Grade 7 and now undefeated in Grade 8. So they're pretty excited and that was a really good come-from-behind win in that last game to win the set,” said Miller. “These guys are all really good friends and it took a lot of working together and not getting down on themselves when they were behind. We’re very proud of them.”
The McNab team included Joel Neville, Graham Wall, Jeffrey Birmingham, Drake Hodgson, Ryan MacKenzie, Sam Pianosi, Sheldon Lyons and Jake Pianosi.
While they lost the first place title McNab, Bishop Smith Gold was named the runner-up and took home silver.
For third place, Valour bested Highview in two out of three sets (25-14 and 15-6) to take home the bronze and the latter placing fourth.
On the girls’ court, it was Rockwood outplayed their Renfrew Collegiate Intermediate School (RCIS) opponents in both sets of the finals (25-12 and 25-21).
Rockwood celebrated their victory and proudly took home the county championship title for their West Division.
After last week’s big win at the West Division Championship, the team was elated to once again be crowned the first place champions.
Rockwood member Cassidy McEvoy commented on how she and her teammates worked together in order to defeat their opponent and rock the court until the very end.
“It just feels great that we actually pulled it off and won. We worked really well together and that was probably the thing that made us win was that great communication,” said McEvoy. “We’re the champions and it feels great.”
The Rockwood team coached by Krista Gauthier and Carrie McDonald, included Emily Mackenzie, Emma Peever, Cassidy McEvoy, Payton Gilchrist, Chelsea Sennett, Hazel Duchrow, Merrie Hammel, Megan Keuhl, Ashley Burell and Keanna Mackinnon.
Despite being defeated by Rockwood, the RCIS girls were proud to place second and take home the silver.
For third place, St. Joseph’s beat Champlain in two straight sets (25-20 and 25-5) to take home the bronze and the latter placing fourth.
Leading up to the finals with the girls’ round robin tournament, Rockwood nabbed two wins and one loss as they defeated McNab (25-21) and St. Joseph’s (25-14). RCIS went undefeated in their three round robin games, shutting out Rockwood (25-13), Champlain (25-11) and Bishop Blue (25-15). Champlain took home two wins and one loss, defeating St. Joseph’s (25-13)and McNab (25-21). McNab saw one win and two losses, crushing Bishop Blue (25-9).
For the boys’ round robin action, McNab reigned victorious in all games as they shut out Bishop Gold (25-17), Valour (25-15), and Highview (25-18). Following closely behind, Bishop Gold won two of their three games as they crushed St. Michael’s (25-7) and St. Joseph’s High School (25-5). Highview also scored two wins and one loss, defeating St. Joseph’s (25-19) and St. Michael’s (25-15). St. Michael’s took home one win against Valour (26-24). Valour also earned one win against St. Joseph’s (26-24).