Flyers continue to soar in volleyball
The Eden Flyers senior girls volleyball team defeated the Governor Simcoe Redcoats 3-0 in the NRHSAA Zone 4 AA final. Photos by TESS AND BERNIE PUCHALSKI.
It was another exciting match but the same result when the Governor Simcoe Redcoats and the Eden Flyers squared off Tuesday in the Niagara Region High School Athletic Association Zone 4 senior girls AA volleyball final.
After defeating Simcoe 3-0 (25-19, 25-19 and 25-23) in regular-season play, Eden did it again by a 3-0 (25-15, 26-24 and 25-19) margin.
“We put it out there,” said Simcoe’s Sadie Dick, who played on Canada under-16 team last summer. “We played really well, we hit the floor and we tried our best.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite good enough for the eight-time defending Zone 4 champions.
“They played really well and I don’t think we could beat that,” Dick said. “It is our coach’s (Ken Riediger) last year for coaching and we wanted to play for him.”
Unfortunately for Simcoe, its path to the Southern Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships has to go through Eden.
“They are a really tough team,” Dick said. “They’ve won every year and they’re great, but we competed and we had fun.”
Eden’s Lauren Vahrmeyer describes Simcoe as a good team
“They have some players with experience and they also bring a lot of energy to the game,” the Grade 11 student said. “It brings the energy out in us and it’s a good battle.”
Eden coach Bill Markham had nothing but praise for the Redcoats.
“They’re talented, they’re well coached and Sadie (Dick) is exceptional,” he said. “It was a tough battle and they had us on the ropes a couple of times.
“I was really proud of our girls because they were resilient.”
That resilience comes from an intense tournament schedule that Eden plays every year to challenge itself.
“When we get into a timeout and we are kind of down or against the ropes, it is easy for me to say that we have been here before,” Markham said.
“We know how to respond to this. Don’t worry about the score, what is happening on the other side and just play it one point at a time.”
Vahrmeyer and her teammates have been there and done that numerous times already this season.
“I play (travel) with some girls and they’ve done two or three tournaments and we’ve done 10,” she said. “It shows the level of commitment that you have to give to this team.”
And tournament play is only part of it.
“It’s practices every day and we are sometime here to six or seven o’clock,” she said. “I think it’s just a different atmosphere compared to other schools.
“That is why we compete so hard for each other because we have almost become a family by spending so much time together.”
Vahrmeyer played a key role in Eden’s victory Tuesday.
“She was big time today,” Markham said, “One of the things we are working on is staying aggressive and she was really aggressive.”
Markham has seen Vahrmeyer go from mostly an offensive threat to more of a complete player on both offence and defence.
“There is still a lot I need to work on defensively, but all-around I have improved with my consistency since Grade 9,” she said. “And controlling the ball — keeping it on serves and on hitting — is something I have improved.”
Vahrmeyer said her team never worries about having to maintain the high standard that previous teams have set.
“There’s definitely a reputation Eden has with volleyball and Eden has always been up there,” she said. The program (succeeds) with Mr. P (Albino Pereira). He knows what he is doing and he knows how to shape us into players who know how to win.”
Eden will now play the Niagara Catholic Athletic Association AA champion to see who advances to SOSSA.
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