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University/College Sport, Volleyball

Trent off to Ontario finals


Women’s volleyball squad off to Barrie to compete in OCAA women’s volleyball championships

Trent University Left Side Rebecca Van Staalduinen swings away during the OCAA provincial championships last year. Photo courtessy of Jessica Van Staalduinen

(PETERBOROUGH) Sometimes it’s a fine line between winning and losing.

That was just the case for the Trent women’s volleyball program this past Saturday at the Trent Athletics Complex. A close line call at the end of the five-set marathon match inched the Excalibur past the Sheridan Bruins to earn a spot in the OCAA women’s volleyball provincial championships.

Having lost four of their last five matches of the season and losing their grip on second place in the division, the Excalibur had much to prove coming in to Saturday’s match. The team’s poor play in the latter part of the season dropped Trent in the rankings from second to fourth place, costing them an automatic berth into this weekend’s championships.

As both teams were in last year’s championship tournament, neither was willing to give an inch. Each side exchanged thunderous attacks and strong defensive plays, but both were plagued by costly errors which kept the match closer than it should have been.

The first four matches were nailbiting close, with each team taking two sets to lead to a fifth and deciding set.

In what could only be compared to a roller coaster ride for all involved, the Bruins and Excalibur exchanged the lead multiple times throughout the fifth set leading up to a 15-14 game point situation for Trent. With the game on the line, the Sheridan coach and one of the Bruins defenders botched a close line call to allow the ball to drop in and give the Excalibur the win.

There was an explosion of emotion from each side of the net, but when the dust settled the call remained giving Trent a ticket to the finals.

“We played as well as we had to,” stated acting head coach Mike Halloran.

Usual bench boss Peter Carter was sitting out the match due to a controversial game misconduct call in the team’s last home match.

Halloran attributes the team’s win to the fact that the team rose to the challenge and came together to secure the win.

“We worked a lot on the basics leading up to this match and that’s what we relied on when things got tough,” added Halloran.

Trent’s Sara Rettie steadied the home teams’ offense with 18 offensive points to counter Sheridan’s onslaught of attacks from the outside. The Bruin’s right side attacker Melissa Cappelletti led all Sheridan scorers with 15 offensive points.

Final scores for the match were 17-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-22 and 16-14 in favour of Trent.

Now with stress of qualifying behind them, Trent looks forward to traveling to Barrie on Wednesday and taking on their biggest challenge to date. The Excalibur has the unfortunate situation of opening the tournament against the defending champions Humber Hawks. Humber is currently undefeated and ranked fifth in the county.

The tournament kicks off at 1 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 23).

For all tournament details and results go to http://www.georgianc.on.ca/barrie-athletics/info

As Scene in Peterborough This Week

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About PTBOSportsScene

Husband, Father, Writer, Coach, Maker of Omelettes and Dissector of Couches. After working for over 10 years in sport, I decided to move my focus from calling for media coverage to doing the reporting. I’ve had the opportunity to work in a multitude of sports and loved every minute of it. Now is my chance to give exposure to those sports and activities that don’t always make the front of the sports page. On this blog you’ll find articles that I’ve done on some of Peterborough’s most interesting and lesser know sports in the area. It may even prompt you to try one.

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