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Home > Articles > High School Sports > Regi girls bound for OFSAA volleyball

Regi girls bound for OFSAA volleyball

Posted: February 20th, 2013 @ 4:23pm


Often, when a team is facing an unfamiliar opponent in an important volleyball match, it's a good idea to concentrate on playing well defensively.

"You have no idea what to expect," Kristin O'Neill said, "so just always be ready."

It's an interesting theory.

"We didn't quite do that today," O'Neill said, "but that's what you should do."

Indeed, O'Neill's Regiopolis Notre Dame Panthers struggled mightily Wednesday afternoon in the early part of their Eastern Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association senior girls match with the Thousand Islands Pirates of Brockville, a team the Panthers hadn't seen this year.

Before long, however, with O'Neill's steady setting playing not an insignificant role, the Panthers settled down. Playing on their home court, they defeated the visitors in three straight sets, 25-20, 25-15, 25-12.

The victory qualified Regi to play in the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations AAA championship tournament, March 3-6 in Windsor.

Though the Panthers may not have been sharp in the early going, by the middle of the second set it was clear which was the better team.

"We were pretty slow starting, which was a bit frustrating," said O'Neill, adding the first set Wednesday was "a lot closer than we would have liked."

"It was pretty back and forth at the start, a lot of errors on our part. It was good just to get that one over with and start again."

A timeout in the first set helped the Panthers collect themselves. "That got us calmed down and back on track," O'Neill said, but then Regi fell behind 6-1 in the second set.

This time, the players figured things out for themselves.

"I don't think we were too worried," O'Neill said. "We were more disappointed in ourselves for getting behind, but that motivated us to pull ahead and get it done."

With Thousand Islands leading the second set 7-5, Emily Rowsell served the Panthers into an 11-7 lead. From that point, Regi never trailed.

"We started talking a lot more - and we just decided that we wanted the ball," said O'Neill, a Grade 12 student from Gananoque bound for life sciences studies next year at either Queen's or Ottawa.

"We just weren't going to let it hit the floor. Sometimes when there's really long rallies, it helps when you win them. That gives you a lot of momentum."
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