Bishop Smith boys win junior county volleyball championship
The Bishop Smith Crusaders were victorious at this year's junior boys volleyball county championships. Pictured in back (from left) are Jill Plazek (coach), Dylan Ouellet (manager), David Schori, Nikolas Majszki, Aden Letourneau, Adam Gdaniec, Jakob Cripps, Joel Adlam, Connor Rielly and Mark Plazek (coach). In front (from left) are Nicolas Price, Quinn McCann, Noah Russell, Andrew Plazek, Zachary Martin, Abram Gleason and Quinn Campbell.
Bishop Smith captured the Junior Boys Renfrew County Volleyball Championship on Thursday with a straight 3-0 victory over the Arnprior Rapids in the final.
Tuesday’s round robin action saw eight county teams battling on the volleyball courts at Bishop Smith Catholic High School and St. Joseph’s High School as they vied for positions in the playoffs.
Pool A teams battled on the Bishop Smith court, with the first match seeing first-place Crusaders defeat the Mackenzie Mustangs in all three sets (25 -17, 25-18, 25-20).
Thereafter, the Madawaska Valley Wolves beat the Mustangs after four sets (25-23, 25-23, 17-25 and 25-23), to officially bump the latter out of the playoffs.
The final game saw the Crusaders defeat the Wolves after three sets (25-13, 25-16, 25-17) to secure their position in the playoffs.
At the St. Joseph’s court, Pool B teams vied for their own place in the playoffs, with the Fellowes Falcons defeating the St. Joe’s Jaguars in the first match (3-2).
The second match saw the Arnprior Rapids defeat the Falcons 3-0, to push the latter out of the standings.
Finally, the Raiders faced off Jaguars, with the Arnprior team ultimately defeating the Renfrew team 3-0 to push them out of the playoffs.
With the Crusaders sitting as the top team in the standings, Bishop Smith had the honour of hosting the semi-finals and finals on Thursday.
In the semi-finals, the Crusaders defeated the Falcons 3-1 in the first game (25-14, 16-25, 25-23, 25-14).
During the second game, despite losing the first set, the Rapids ultimately defeated the Madawaska Wolves 3-1 to secure their spot in the final game (18-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-13).
By the afternoon, the final game kicked off and saw the Arnprior Rapids and the Bishop Smith Crusaders battling for the championship title.
While it remained a closely contested match, it was the blue and yellow of Bishop Smith that emerged victorious by the end of the three sets, with scores of 25-22, 21-25, and 15-11.
This marks the first county volleyball championship for Bishop Smith’s junior boys since 2008.
“We had a really successful season during which we only lost one game all season long. Everybody was playing their best volleyball against us but we just seemed to put the games together and in the playoffs we did really well. The boys had some ups and downs but they pulled together as a team and were able to pull out the wins when they could,” said Crusaders coach Mark Plazek.
As the Crusaders gathered around their championship trophy, Crusaders coaches Mark and Jill Plazek expressed their mutual pride in their team’s well-earned victory while commending the Raiders for their excellent display of skill.
“The Rapids were very tough and our games were quite close except for the last one. We knew we were in for a tough battle and for us to be able to sweep with 3-0 we did not expect that, we thought it would go up to five sets,” said Mark. “But our team is a strong group of kids who are friends off the court and they work well together on the court – there's a lot of chemistry there. From the start of the year, our motto was that we wanted to be an offensive team, and that was our strength today that allowed us to cash in.”