Earl Haig’s volleyball coach Morris Sze got his butterflies to fly in formation.
With that came a berth in AAAA City Championship final game against Woburn Wildcats, Feb. 23 at Humber College.
Unfortunately a following trip to Newmarket for OFSAA was not to be, as Woburn won 3-0 (25-11, 25-11, 25-19).
Nonetheless, Sze was elated a team that did not make the playoffs in 2010 was tops in the North Region this year.
“This is our first loss in the playoffs,” he said. “I’m very pleased with them.”
At the end of the regular season it was a slow-and-steady plan of attack for Haig State when dealing with the TDSSAA brackets.
“From our season we went undefeated, so there you re-project and you say, ‘What’s next for us?’” Sze said. “We evaluate our goals, and we say ‘Okay, let’s try the next stage’.
“You keep stepping up the ladder and go from there.”
As always, the tandem of middle Kate Robertson and setter Emma Scotchmer helped the squad fight for a title.
“A lot of my senior players stepped up and played,” Sze said. “Unfortunately I’m only allowed six on the court.”
Both Robertson and Scotchmer are graduating, so this final stand made it a memorable senior year.
“It’s a nice end to the season, going to the city finals,” Robertson said.
“That was probably our last game (for Earl Haig),” Scotchmer added. “It’s sad leaving volleyball but maybe we’ll do intramurals at university.”
Their teammate Zoe Lau provided consistency at service during the first two sets but an overpowering Woburn roster, rife with club players quieted Haig State’s assault.
Wildcats coach Andrew Ming put most of the credit on spiker Deborah Mitchell, a player who has overcome plenty of adversity.
“There were a lot of challenges she faced while growing up and I’m willing to say volleyball has saved her,” he said. “She has matured into a very lovely young woman and she is being recruited by several colleges in Ontario.”
Mitchell’s club teammate Maddie Brown also provided a cornucopia of skills in Woburn’s win, and captain Naomi Mendoza kept the Wildcats steady, especially when Haig State made a third set run.
Both Robertson and Kristina Lee served up eight points together for an 8-2 surge.
“I guess you’re just in the zone,” Robertson said of her string of six services. “You don’t even think about it.”
Both teams are losing 50 percent of their rosters to graduation, however Sze is optimistic the juniors coming up will seize the day.