Cougars bow out in SOSSA AAA final
The Centennial Cougars decided to give themselves a challenge this season.
Coach Laurie Mauro declared the Cougars would play at the AAA level, despite Centennial being a AA school based on population.
“Competition-wise we were ready,” Mauro said. “Even though our population makes us a AA, I decided to move us up. We’re better than an AA team.
“We’re a very good team.”
The Cougars proved their coach correct in the regular season with four wins in six games before defeating the Greater Fort Erie Gryphons in the Zone 3 AAA senior girls volleyball final which earned them a trip to the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association AAA playoffs Monday at Notre Dame.
The Cougars topped St. Michael’s Catholic High School from Niagara Falls 25-21, 25-15, 23-25, 25-8 in one semifinal before being swept 14-25, 15-25, 23-25 in the final by a strong Ancaster Royals squad.
Mauro had no reservations about the decision.
“This is a win for us,” she said. “We won our zone and came second in Southern Ontario, so it couldn’t be any more exciting.”
Mauro, who is aided by assistant coaches Lori Kowalek and Sean McMahon, plans to play at the AAA level again next year.
“It will be a rebuild year, we’re losing four starters (Lila Agnew, Ivy Charlebois, Alexxis Smith, Ashley Burke) but we can do it,” she said.
She felt playing better competition was useful for the Cougars.
“I think it’s psychological,” she said. “I think this game is 70 per cent psychological. We found that out in our one set today. We dropped and then we called a time out and talked about psychology and putting it all together as team players so I really think it helped up this season.”
The Cougars kept things simple in their win over the Mustangs.
“We don’t play them in our season,” Mauro said. “It was interesting. We watched them and we set up our strategy, we always do it as a team, and we picked away at the holes and played good, basic volleyball and we won.
“It was fantastic.”
The Royals defeated the Eden Flyers 23-25, 25-14, 25-23, 25-21 in the other semifinal.
Other members of the Cougars are: Avery Barnett, Laura Bednar, Madison Busby, Calli Camden, Nicole Goertz, Victoria Kim, Sarah Maguire, Miro Murayama, Emma Sauer.
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