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Northport teams in Port Elgin making a name in volleyball
submitted by Tim Smith

February 5, 2017
www.saugeentimes.com

Sports-Volleyball

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(L-R Back):  Mrs. Brown, Ben Sollors, Mr. Smith, Ryan Renaud, Sam Kozalenko, Cameron Smith, David Parsons, Jake Lawrence, Owen Burkhart, Chad Lawrence and Nick Lalonde in red. (L-R kneeling) David Taylor, Adam Perry, Wyatt McNabb, Austin Dunlop

When it comes to volleyball, Saugeen Shores elementary schools are showing great strides for the future.

The Northport Cougars Boys Volleyball team finished the season winning the Bluewater Elementary Sports Council Championship (BESCC). Their journey began back in October with many practices after school or early mornings. As the days grew darker and colder the boys kept attending the practices and it all paid off on Tuesday, January 31st at OSCVI.

Early in the season, the team finished 3rd in the Early Bird Owen Sound District Secondary School tournament and, closer to the school Christmas break, won the Walkerton District Community School tournament.

The players were divided into a Senior team and a Junior team for the Walkerton event.  The Jr. team, consisting of only grades 5 and 6 students, won three of their eight sets and finished 4th in their pool. This was a terrific finish for such a young squad competing against teams with Grade 7/8 players.

The team took a break over the Christmas holidays and returned hoping to play in the 1st annual Saugeen District Elementary Tournament unfortunately, however, a number of teams cancelled last minute and the tournament was cancelled.

The Cougars next tournament, the West Regional BESC qualifier, playing local teams from Paisley, G.C Huston, Arran Tara and Port Elgin Saugeen Central (PESC) was hosted at Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS), Port Elgin. The Cougars finished 1st in their pool and defeated PESC 2-0 in the championship match 25-15, 25-15. This win advanced the team to the BESCC tournament.

While the day did not start well for the team, they managed to secure two wins defeating Hillcrest 2-0 (26-24 & 25-20).

After a team discussion, there was hope that the team would play a more up-tempo and balanced attack against the next opponent Mildmay.

With a first set victory 25-13, coach Tim Smith was pleased to have his team compete, but then set 2 was a loss 21-25. This split was followed by another with Osprey 25-6 & 20-25. After all round robin games were completed, the Cougars were declared 1st in their pool and would play the second place team from the other pool, Huron Heights (Kincardine).

The crowd was entertained with some spectators and coaches under much stress as each point was well contested, final scores 25-23 & 25-20. This would set up a rematch for the final with Osprey.

Set one was almost perfect for Northport who won 25-9. Strong hitting by Ryan Renaud was made possible by the settings from David Parsons and Jake Lawrence. Set two was much closer, but Sam Kozalenko and Cameron Smith found their stride from the serving line leading to the win 25-21. Ben Sollors was steady all day with his play in the back court and tough serves.

Coaches Mrs. Brown and Mr. Smith said that there is a great future with volleyball at Northport as the younger players made tremendous strides in learning the game throughout the season.  "We look forward to working with these players next season."

Click the orange arrow to read the second column

The Northport Girls Volleyball team also had a good season finishing second to Port Elgin Saugeen Central at the West Regional tournament . After finishing 1st in round-robin play  however, they could not hold back the strong play from PESC. The PESC Girls participated in the BESCC tournament Monday, January 30 at OSCVI and, while they played well, they did not qualify for the playoffs. According to coaches, this is another great sign for strong volleyball in the future for both PESC and Northport teams.

The École Port Elgin Saugeen Central (ÉPESC) girls' volleyball team took the championship title at the Northwest Regional Girls' Volleyball Tournament, held at SDSS on January 18th. Despite losing their first two sets to Northport, the girls were able to rally back through the round robin.

After winning five of their six remaining sets against Paisley Central, Arran-Tara and GC Huston, the girls met up with Northport in the best of three Championship games. The EPESCS girls played smart, team-focused volleyball, winning the Championship in the first two sets: 25-18 and 27-25.

Back Row: Lily Van geel, Kennedy Stauffer, Caelan MacDonald, Francesca Alpajero, Emma Moore, Maddy Leger, Alex Bromaroff, Amy Doherty (coach) Front Row: Natalie Brown, Madi McNeill, Kaleigh Novakowich, Olivea Pope, Danica Harding


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