SPORTS April 3rd, 2017

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Gators grab OFSAA gold on the court and in the pool

Volleyball team goes undefeated in CISAA and provincial play

It’s been a long ride for Sidney Wilson with Havergal’s volleyball team, but she wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

The senior is coming off the high of winning OFSAA AAA gold with the Gators.

“It is an incredible feeling — definitely one of the highlights of my time at Havergal,” she said. “This is a really amazing group of girls and such great coaches. I’m so lucky to have played alongside all of them for the past four years.

It wasn’t just about the gold medal, but it was their drive that Wilson hammered home. The sports prefect, and recent recipient of the Miguay Cup, an award given to Gators who have made a major contribution to volleyball, said this has been taking shape since she was in Grade 9.

Wilson plays not only varsity but for the Phoenix Volleyball Club as well. She’s also developed under the watchful eye of John Child, a former Olympian.

During CISAA play, the team went undefeated and continued that trend in Barrie from March 6 to 8. Their last match, against Oakridge Secondary School, witnessed their first set loss of the tournament. Yet, it was the biggest confidence booster for the team.

“It’s funny, after that first set I was almost more confident that we were going to win than I was at the start of the game,” she said. “There was no doubt in our minds that we could have and should have won that first set – we were up 24-20 – so there wasn’t even much of a discussion in our huddle after the first set.”

Child reached out to the girls individually, and figured out what they needed to hear ahead of time. By the start of the second set, Wilson said she felt a shift in energy from “nerves to a strong sense of urgency” and it took off from there.

Havergal doused any Oakridge fire then, and went on to win 3-1 (26-28, 25-15, 25-14 and 25-22).

Wilson is graduating at the end of this year, so the gold is a great feather in her cap, and her teammates never lost momentum.

“Keeping the girls riled up for OFSAA was never a problem,” she said. “We had been working towards it all year, many of us training at least once or twice every day between school volleyball, club teams, and workouts.”

Havergal also saw plenty of success in the pool at OFSAA. The quartet of Hanna Farkouh, Charmaine Koo, Samantha Parker and Megan Osler grabbed a bronze in the 200 Meter Medley, and they earned a gold in the 200 Meter Freestyle Relay, thanks to Arianna Yu, Lucy Zheo, Clarissa Yu and Michelle Wang. Finally, the team rounded out the medals with a bronze in the 400 Meter Freestyle Relay, thanks to Ripley Crake, Emily White, Scarlett Finn and Hailey White.