BY SPENCER TURCOTTE
The Milton District Mustangs senior boys’ volleyball team galloped all the way to the ‘AA’ OFSAA volleyball championships in Dryden, Ontario that ran from November 20th – 22nd.
The ‘Stangs were seeded 10th going into the tournament and were looking to make a statement right away as they played the host team, The Dryden Eagles. There wasn’t an empty seat in the packed gym and cheers from the home crowd only added to the intense environment.
The opening game of the tournament was nothing short of nerve-wracking for the both teams. In a third set thriller, the Mustangs realized that they had no room to horse around so they took an early lead and defeated the hosts 15-8.
… Unfortunately, this came as the team’s only win of the competition.
Katherine Parker, head coach of the Mustangs, noted that the reasons why the boys couldn’t come out on top again was because they stopped, “covering on defense and attacking like we can.” She also noted that mental errors played a major role in the losses.
“I think we could have done better. We should not have lost to Midland during our last pool game. We were winning during the first set 18-13,” said Parker, still upset with the outcome. She added that if they had won against Midland, it would’ve placed them second in the group which would have allowed them a spot in the quarterfinals.
Instead, they faced a 3-way tie for second place in their pool. In the end, officials looked at point differential between the other games played and it resulted in the Mustangs having to cross over and compete in the consolation playoffs.
“If the team had played like they did against Garth Webb during our regular season and against Dryden during the first game at OFSAA, the boys could have had a shot at a medal.”
Parker also mentioned that, “Many coaches at OFSAA commented on how dynamic our team was.” With having four out of six players on the starting lineup as previous or current members on a competitive volleyball team outside of school, this observation isn’t as shocking as the team’s overall performance.
Regardless of the outcome for the Mustangs at the OFSAA Championships, they had a successful season. After winning the Assumption tournament in Burlington, finishing as the top ‘AA’ volleyball team in Halton and qualifying to OFSAA for a second year in a row, it is no doubt that this team has accomplished a lot and will be remembered for many years to come.