Athens District High School hosted the 2015 Senior Girls “A” EOSSAA Volleyball Championships on February 26. The tournament featured the top school of under 500 students from each of EOSSAA’s six divisions. The tournament was broken down into two pools of three.
Pool A featured École Secondaire Catholique Embrun representing Prescott-Russell, Brockville Collegiate Institute representing Leeds-Grenville and Almonte District High School representing Lanark County.
Pool B featured Holy Trinity Catholic Secondary School representing Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry, St. Joseph’s High School representing the Upper Ottawa Valley and École Catholique Secondaire Marie-Rivier representing Kingston & Area.
The gym was split into two sides with pool A and B matches occurring simultaneously. In the opening matches Embrun cruised to a 25-9, 25-14 straight sets victory over Almonte and Marie-Rivier pulled out a nail-bitter 25-21, 13-25, 15-11 over Holy Trinity.
In the days second matches Embrun clinched first place in Pool A with another straight sets win 25-22, 25-16 over Brockville, while Holy Trinity dropped their second straight three set match losing 25-21, 22-25, 12-15 against St. Joseph’s, with the loss eliminating Holy Trinity from semi-final contention.
The final round robin matches took on an added importance as Brockville faced Almonte with a trip to the semi-finals on the line, while St. Joseph’s played Marie-Rivier for first place in Pool B. Brockville beat Almonte 25-8, 25-13 to clinch second in Pool A, while Pool B featured it’s third straight three set match as St. Joseph’s pulled out a narrow 25-16, 20-25, 15-13 win over Marie-Rivier.
The playoffs featured the top two teams from each pool in a crossover format, with Embrun playing Marie-Rivier in one semi-final and St. Joseph’s playing Brockville in the other semi-final. Embrun came into their semi-final fresh off a bye having played the days first two matches, while Marie-Rivier came into the match fresh off a tough three set loss in their final round robin match. Late in the match Embrun used that extra energy to put away Marie-Rivier scoring the final six points, winning 25-18, 25-19 and advancing to the championship. St. Joseph’s used the momentum they gained from back-to-back three set match wins to beat Brockville in straight sets, 25-16 25-17 to book their ticket to the EOSSAA Final.
The final began as a back and forth affair with St. Joseph’s grabbing the biggest lead at 16-12, at which point, Embrun coach Philippe Goudreau called timeout. After the timeout Embrun outscored St. Joseph’s 38-16 the rest of the way to win the 2015 Senior Girls ”A” Volleyball EOSSAA Championship 25-23, 25-9.
“I told the girls that they needed to start playing, we weren’t playing our game, our style of volleyball at all and I was confident that we were a stronger team but we needed to play, so I said let’s go out and do our job and they did it,” said Goudreau, recalling what he said during the timeout. Despite the tough loss St. Joseph’s coach Brennan Trainor was still proud of his team stating, “We’re very happy with our season, to be able to make it here is a great accomplishment, my girls played really hard and they deserve a lot of praise for it.”
With the win Embrun has qualified to compete at OFSAA March 9-11 in Hamilton, Ontario.