Sports

Sabres set for CWOSSA

Jacob Robinson

By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer

Reid Rivard spikes the ball during Simcoe Sabres senior volleyball practice Monday night. The Sabres will host the CWOSSA 'AA' championships beginning Wednesday. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

Reid Rivard spikes the ball during Simcoe Sabres senior volleyball practice Monday night. The Sabres will host the CWOSSA 'AA' championships beginning Wednesday. JACOB ROBINSON/Simcoe Reformer

SIMCOE  - 

In volleyball – and in life – it's the little things that can make all the difference.

For the Simcoe Sabres boys volleyball teams, getting to stay home for the CWOSSA 'AA' championships and not having to travel two-plus hours north is something worth celebrating.

“I think they're pretty excited,” said Sabres senior coach Joanne Defreyne prior to the tournament. “They're really excited about not having to get on a bus at 5 a.m. It's such an advantage for a host team.”

Both the junior and senior SCS squads will host the Central West tournament beginning Wednesday and ending Thursday night. The seniors will compete at the Sabredome at 9:15 a.m., 11:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. on Wednesday while the juniors take to the floor at the same times at Holy Trinity, the event's alternate site.

Coming off a county championship and unbeaten season, Simcoe's seniors are confident but not looking too far ahead.

“We've got seven other teams coming and to win an eight-team tournament is not an easy thing to do,” Defreyne said. “In all the years I've been doing this we've only made it to a CWOSSA final one time and we lost to a really good team. We don't have club players, that's usually our disadvantage. A lot of the schools that come from the major cities, even though they're smaller schools, they've got club players and our boys might be able to play at their level, they just can't play at their level consistently. That's the biggest thing that we worry about, but hosting will be great.”

Knowing their gym will be a hive of activity, especially when Simcoe plays, is something the Sabres expect to give them a boost.

“It's great, we hope to get a good crowd out here and show them what we're really all about,” said senior co-captain Jake Luke.

“Having the (NSSAA) finals here it really helped us push through so it should push us a lot.”

Consistency in terms of both serving and court coverage will be the determining factor between bowing out in the round robin or continuing on to the playoff round Thursday, Defreyne said.

“Always court coverage,” she said of the team's focus. “That's definitely our nemesis, our weak point. I'll say it, we are a bit of a lazy team but we also have awesome blockers and when our blocking is on we're not sitting ducks back there when it's not we are.

“We're hoping for some consistent, good serving and great blocking because I know that our centres Simon (Storoschuk) and Matt (Lyons) have the ability to block a lot of balls.”

Another challenge the Sabres will be facing is the ball itself. OFSAA has instituted a new style ball be used for qualifying tournaments. The Sabres have been practising this week with the ball – one that features dimples that appear like a golf ball. The team went so far as to schedule an exhibition contest with the Valley Heights Bears on Tuesday night to prepare.

Luke said at the end of the day his team needs to worry about what it can control.

“We're just going to want to stick to our game, keep practising hard and play our normal game because we've been working hard all year, practising every day so we just want to translate that to CWOSSA,” he said.

Both the Bears junior and senior teams will compete at the CWOSSA 'A' tournament in Breslau Nov. 16.

The Holy Trinity Titans senior and junior basketball teams are in Kitchener/Waterloo for the 'AA' CWOSSA competition Friday while the Delhi Raiders junior and seniors will represent Norfolk at the 'A' level in Kincardine Friday and Saturday.

A full list of game times and schedules are posted at cwossa.ca/championships.

jrobinson@postmedia.com