Junior quartet are Forest Hill’s future

WATCHING THE RESULTS: Forest Hill’s Patrice Alves, far right, and Aisha Martes, 12, watch a spike get bobbled by a Central Tech middle during junior girls volleyball Dec. 21.

Future seniors equipped with energy and power

There’s a fantastic four in Forest Hill’s junior ranks that are sparking optimism in volleyball seasons to come.

If a 2-0 (25-18, 25-22) victory over Central Tech Dec. 21 is any indication, Falcons coach Patrick Dinsmore could be seeing some good seasons ahead once the girls graduate to the senior grades.

Depending on the serving talents of Kesiah Louis, Alexa Burstein, Marilyn Tran and Patrice Alves, the Falcons built up a 10-5 lead on their downtown opponents.

“They were passing the ball well, which gives us a chance to at least hit the ball,” Dinsmore said. “We actually got some good hits today.

“We’ve been having a bit of trouble with lately.”

Starting off with four hard serves was Burstein. Picking up two aces, she continued her momentum with shots Blues middles could not handle.

It was for a brief moment that Central Tech took over service before Tran helped spark a four-point drive in the first set. Chipping on the defence were Louis and Alves.

Fighting off defeat for the Blues were Charity Williams and Cindy Li who had some crucial blocks and digs at points where Forest Hill seemed to be taking the lead.

Central Tech co-coach Teresa Avarino acknowledged her two charges’ standout performances, but admitted at the junior level they’re just learning the skills they need for senior volleyball.

“Just knowing they’re a team, we really improved on our serving, that was something we wanted to work on and our play at the net in terms of blocking,” she said. “We really concentrate on developing skills because a lot of the girls in the city don’t have a lot of skill development before this.”

The squad sets game-to-game goals with Avarino and fellow coach Sarah Franklin.

Almost the entire team will make the jump to the senior level for the 2012-13 season.

“Aims for the season are just to be more consistent with what we learned in practice,” Avarino said.

The four pillars of the Falcons attack will also move to the senior level. Their height at the net may prove to be an advantage for Forest Hill’s pursuit of the South Region’s West Division title against Parkdale Panthers and Bloor Bears this season.

But it’s not the only edge, Dinsmore said.

“The energy is strong and that goes a long way.”

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