DCVI boys volleyball squads earn berth in 'A' finals
Seniors sweep Central Huron; Juniors defeat Blue Devils 3-1 in Mitchell
DCVI's Thomas Kooy, left, and R.J. Martin attempt to make a block at the net during the Huron-Perth 'A' semi-final playoffs last Tuesday against the Central Huron Phoenix. Salukis won 3-0. (Payton photo)
By Pat Payton
The first-place DCVI Senior boys volleyball team qualified for the 'A' conference final this week, with a semi-final sweep of the Central Huron Phoenix last Tuesday afternoon at the collegiate.
But the seventh-place Clinton team made the Salukis work for it. Steve Chateauvert's squad won the best-of-five Huron-Perth match 3-0, with scores of 25-17, 27-25 and 25-15.
"I don't think we played as well as we could have, and it's a little disappointing coming into the playoffs," coach Chateauvert said. "We had a really good match against Goderich (a three-game sweep) in our final regular-season game (Nov. 2). It was the best we played all year, and I was hoping we would replicate it today . . . but it is what it is.
"I have a great group of kids and they put the work in at practice. It was just a matter of executing."
Strong serving by Thorup
The Senior Salukis rode the serving of fifth-year setter Jack Thorup to their opening win last Tuesday. With the score tied 11-11, Thorup served 10 straight winning points to put St. Marys in control.
"Jack is always steady," Chateauvert said. "He's obviously very skilled and holds the team together. He's a pretty important part of our team."
The second set was much closer, with Central Huron twice holding late three-point leads. Salukis jumped out to a 10-4 advantage, but the Phoenix battled back and went in front 15-13. At that point, Chateauvert called a time-out. "The boys know what to do; they just have to execute," he said. The visitors also led 20-17 and 21-18, before St. Marys pulled out the hard-fought, two-point victory.
The third set was also close early (8-5 and 10-7 for DCVI) until the midway point in the match. That's when the Salukis went on a 10-3 run and pulled away for a relatively easy win.
In the sweep, Thorup and Loghan Hodkinson provided strong serving, and Thorup, Alton Douglas, Arthur Douglas and R.J. Martin contributed several big hits.
The H-P 'A' final was Tuesday of this week at DCVI. Salukis hosted the Goderich Vikings, who swept Mitchell Blue Devils 3-0 in the other semi-final last week.
There is no WOSSAA tournament this year.
Juniors also reach final
At Mitchell last Tuesday, the DCVI Junior boys volleyball team rebounded to win their 'A' semi-final match against the Blue Devils, 3-1.
After losing a six-point lead and the opener 27-25, Ian Moore's Salukis won 25-12, 25-17 and 25-13 to earn a spot in this week's final against the Vikings in Goderich. Second-place Mitchell had gone 3-0 in the regular-season standings.
"We started out strong in the first set, and got up six points, but then we got lackadaisical and a bit overconfident," coach Moore reported. "Between the first and second sets, I told our kids that we were the better team and if we played with confidence that we would beat them handily.
"The basics for volleyball are serving and passing. If you do those two things well, everything else just falls into place. We served exceptionally well, and had great passing as well."
Moore also tipped his hat to starting setter Nate Schiedel.
"Nate did a great job of setting up some nice sets for his teammates." he noted. "And defensively, we did not want the ball to hit the floor. The other team got frustrated and started making mistakes and we didn't."
The Junior boys 'A' final was on Tuesday of this week.