On the same day that no less than four members of the squad were being recognized for the individual exploits on the court, the team's collective dream of reaching the final at the OCAA Championships for a second consecutive year went up in smoke.
The Cambrian ladies were relegated to no better than a bronze-medal finish courtesy of the Fanshawe Falcons, the third-place finishers in the West Division this year.
The Golden Shield started slowly and were never able to fully recover, dropping a 14-25, 25-23, 23-25, 20-25 four-set encounter in first-round play at the provincial championships in Peterborough.
Shawna Metcalf was named as player of the game for Cambrian, while Ashley Hosfeld received the nod for Fanshawe.
Ironically, all four of the Western schools advanced on Day 1 as the fourth-place West Redeemer Royals upset the East Division champion Durham Lords, also in four sets.
The Cambrian-Fanshawe match closed out play on a day that started well enough for the northern girls. Although edged out by Kelly Nyhof of the Humber Hawks for OCAA Player of the Year honours, Metcalf was recognized as a CCAA All-Canadian in addition to cracking the OCAA first all-star team.
Joining Metcalf on the second team is setter Jillian Shell, right-side Kelsey Fielding and libero Deanna Bedard.
The Cambrian women secured silver medals one year ago after topping the OCAA East division, but were unable to duplicate that success, despite returning much of the same lineup intact this year.
The Shield will now face the host Trent Excalibur at 3 p.m. today, with play wrapping up Feb. 23 in Peterborough.