The St. John’s College Green Eagles senior girls volleyball team feels they have all the right aspects of their game going.
“We have really improved throughout this whole season and are coming together as a team now,” player Celina Kegels said.
With a 21-25, 25-12, 25-22, 25-14 victory over the Assumption College Lions on Thursday at Assumption, the Green Eagles won the right to play in the Central Western Ontario Secondary Schools Association tournament next weekend in Brantford.
St. John’s will play host to the AAAA CWOSSA tournament on Feb. 22.
Kegels feels the Green Eagles have what it takes to do well at the tournament and advance to the Ontario Federation of School Athletics Association tournament beginning March 4 in Mississauga.
“We are playing our hardest right now and will be on our home court,” Kegels said.
The two Brantford Catholic schools agreed to compete in a best-of-three series for the right to play at CWOSSA.
The Green Eagles are not calling themselves the Brant County Secondary School Athletics Association champions this year, as Brant’s four public schools remain on the sidelines due to a teacher boycott of extra-curricular activities.
The Green Eagles won the first game of the series at home on Monday.
In Game 2 on Thursday, a tightly contested first set was broken open late with some strong serving by the Lions’ Alex Aquino. She stayed at the line to run the score from 19-18 for St. John’s to 23-19 for Assumption.
After turning over the ball, Aquino then made a diving save on the next serve to get the ball back for the Lions before they closed out the set 25-21.
But that is all the breathing room the Green Eagles allowed.
Kegels opened the second set with a 9-0 service run for St. John’s. After a brief interruption, the Green Eagles added another seven consecutive points to lead 16-1. The second run included two aces by Lauren Jerzyk.
The Eagles prevailed 25-12 in the second set.
The third set was a back-and-forth affair until Jerzyk provided some separation. Her four-point service run would stand up as St. John’s took the set 25-22.
The fourth set started in similar fashion to the second. Kegels served the Green Eagles to a 5-0 lead. Kegels got the ball right back from the Lions with a well-placed pass and Brinley McLaren extended the St. John’s lead to 9-1.
While the Lions made some gains when facing the early deficit, the Green Eagles pulled away again and took the set 24-14.
Kegels said her team comes by its strong serving honestly.
“We haven’t really worked on serves that much,” she said. “It just comes naturally that we are all really good servers.”
In the junior best-of-three series to earn a CWOSSA berth, Assumption followed up its Monday victory with another win on Thursday to take the series.
Just like on Monday, the Lions dropped one set en route to earning a 21-25, 25-21, 25-18 and 25-23 victory.
The Lions will host the junior CWOSSA tournament at Assumption on Feb. 22.