Jan 11, 2013- 12:14 PM
It turned out to be what the St Charles College senior girls volleyball bench boss might call the “TSN Turning Point” of the game.
The Cardinals rallied big time, closing out with a 25-23 first-set victory over the Lasalle Lancers, eventually taking down the home team in the LancerDome in four sets (25-23, 25-17, 23-25, 25-21).
St Charles has returned a core group of Grade 12 talent this year that features the likes of Hannah Grace, Marissa Falvo, Brianne Eles, Alexandra Ross and Maddy Lightle.
The experience of that crew certainly helped stabilize a situation that appeared desperate in the early going. That said, the SDSSAA league schedule might also have played a role in the slow start that St Charles experienced.
“We only got to practise twice (since returning after Christmas), and when we did practise, we were sharing the gym,” said Grace, the floor captain for the Cards. “We didn't practise with our regular aggressiveness. I think we were tired from the break.”
By contrast, Lasalle got warmed up with a solid showing on Jan. 7, knocking off the Marymount Regals in four sets.
Much like their senior girls basketball team, the Lancers volleyball lineup features a very young squad, moving up a nice group of junior talent that was among the best in the city last year. That crew fell in a five-set SDSSAA junior championship classic with Lo-Ellen in February of 2012.
The likes of Jillian Vallier, Emily Clark and setters Brittni Rorison and Keegan Anderson are sure to enjoy success in the years to come.
For now, it's St Charles that fancies itself a contender to the throne.
“We've only lost one game and it was against Lockerby — and they're really tough competition,” said Grace.
“We've been playing very well together — we're meshing well,” she added. “Tonight, our passing was really off in the first set. As the set went on, it progressed and became better.”
"Communication is very important for our team. When we get down, we tend to not communicate as much. If we can keep a positive attitude, I know that we can win.”
Both the Division I and Division II ranks will stage games for another week or so, breaking from Jan. 20-29 for the first semester exams.