Squad battled Northview Heights in quarterfinals
Earl Haig’s coach Morris Sze hopes to make the volleyball butterflies fly in formation.
After a 2-0 (25-20, 25-23) North Region quarterfinal victory over Northview Heights Feb. 3, Haig State’s charges are still concerned their nemesis will be their nerves, rather than their semis opponents, William Lyon Mackenzie, he said.
Just ask middle Kate Robertson and Emma Scotchmer.
“I think we’ll just have to be more confident and not as tense,” Robertson said in a post-game interview. “When the game comes everyone is nervous.”
Scotchmer agreed, saying the team is opposites when gauging morale levels in practices and gametime.
“It’s been nerve-wracking obviously,” she said. “That’s one of our weaknesses, we seize up a little bit.”
Still, the energy of a flawless regular season (7-0), was evident as the two girls worked in tandem to dismantle Northview Heights’ defence, and completed each other’s sentences post-op. Zoe Lau’s services also helped.
“When you’re undefeated people want to beat us even more,” Scotchmer said.
Try as they might, the Phoenix couldn’t end Haig State’s reign. Finishing 4-3, good for fourth in the North Region’s West, Northview coach Goran Slavkovic was impressed by his young squad’s efforts.
“Overall, it was a great season, coming together like a team and as individuals,” he said. “I can only see that improving.”
And improvement he will see, as his entire starting six, comprising of captain Jeanne Lee, Amanda Molinaro, Nickeilia Erskine, Vanessa Chow, Ana Elena Mandache and Carolyn Jones, will be back for 2011-12.
If jumping out to a 5-2 lead in Set 1 against Earl Haig is not proof enough, their Westview Invitational Tournament title should garner them praise for the future. And, team members will rise again before year’s end with the beach volleyball team.
Though the Phoenix lost to Earl Haig, Slavkovic commended Lee for being the team’s glue and Erskine for her stalwart blocking efforts at the net. Mandache also provided solid service.
Lee was pleased with her crew too.
“It was a great season with many tournaments,” she said, adding the season’s end is not taken lightly. “It was a tough team, but we tried our best.”
As for Earl Haig, their sights are on the North Region title, Scotchmer said, and after that it’s “one thing at a time”.
After all, Robertson admitted, the South Region is a whole different net to crash.