Flyers capture OFSAA bronze
The seventh-ranked Eden Flyers senior boys volleyball team returned from the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AAA championships in Kingston with a bronze medal.
It was an excellent finish for a team Eden head coach Bill Markham describes as scrappy.
“The road for us this year was never easy, but we just found a way to show up when it was needed. We were fortunate enough to have two bids with SOSSA (Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association), and so even though we lost to Westmount (who went on to win the silver medal at OFSSA), we were able to get the second bid,” he said. “Then, after going 3-1 in the round robin, we found ourselves in a three-way tie for the top two championship spots.”
The Flyers had to play one 15-point set to determine whether they advanced and they won 16-14.
Next up was a 3-0 sweep (25-23, 25-17 and 25-20) of third-seeded Oakville Trafalgar in the quarter-finals before losing a tough 3-2 (15-25, 25-16, 25-18, 20-25 and 15-9) decision to SOSSA champion Westmount in the semifinals.
That set up the bronze medal match against Upper Canada College and Eden won 3-2 (25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 20-25 and 15-9).
In pool play, the Flyers lost 2-0 (26-24 and 25-23) to St. Marcellinus; defeated Upper Canada 2-1 (18-25, 25-19 and 16-14); swept St. Joan de Arc 2-0; and, edged Chippewa 2-0 (28-26 and 26-24).
“There were so many times when it looked like the door was going to close on us, but these guys just kept finding ways to make it happen,” Markham said. “I am thrilled that we finished top three in Ontario and it is a testament to the fact that with hard work, composure, and team work, amazing things are possible.”
With only three returning starters and no provincial or national team members on its roster, the Flyers went into OFSAA with an overall record of 46-10, including tournament wins at Frank Hayden and Eden.
“What I will remember most about this season is how a group of individuals became a band of brothers. How we were pushed at every turn, but never broke. How we competed to the best of our ability regardless of how we were feeling or how difficult the circumstance,” Markham said. “I am so proud of this group of athletes and what we accomplished together. To all the parents, thank you for your investment and showing up to cheer us on. To my boys ‘Pins and lines.’ I would also like to thank all the staff at Eden for the privilege of participating in this great program and to the teachers who helped me coach. I am grateful for the opportunity.”
Members of the team, coached by Markham and assistants Luke Landry and Virginia Kent, were Cameron Minniti, Carter Thompson, Isaac Reimer, Pierson Fritz, Ephram Janzen, Maxim Tywoniuk, Jesse Reimer, Luke Johnson, Evan McNiven, Cohen Reimer, Luke Midgley, Ty Klassen, Logan Dueck, Kai Schatz, Britton Burrows and Philip Kovac.
At the OFSAA AA championships in Huntsville, E.L. Crossley lost 3-2 (25-22, 15-25, 26-24, 26-28 and 15-8) in the consolation semifinals to eventual consolation champion Francis Libermann.
Crossley advanced to the consolation semifinals by defeating Huntsville 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-21 and 25-16).
In pool play, the Cyclone: lost 2-0 (25-15 and 25-22) to Kingsville; lost 2-0 (25-15 and 25-10) to LaSalle; defeated Streetsville 2-0 (25-16 and 25-14); and, swept Keswick 2-0 (25-14 and 25-23).
At the OFSAA A championships in Sudbury, the Smithville Christian Storm made it to the consolation finals before losing 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 26-28, 25-9 and 15-12) to Lockerby.
The Storm advanced to the consolation final by defeating University of Toronto Schools 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 19-25 and 25-23) and Saint Paul 3-1 (19-25, 25-18, 25-18 and 25-20).