Chill girls take a crack at nationals

By: Randy Pascal – Playback

 | May 05, 2014 - 3:00 PM |
The Northern Chill 14U Girls broke new ground this weekend in Sherbrooke, Quebec. File photo.

The Northern Chill 14U Girls broke new ground this weekend in Sherbrooke, Quebec. File photo.

Regardless of their results, the Northern Chill 14U Girls broke new ground this weekend in Sherbrooke, Que. The youth volleyball team has become the first Chill team, in the 14U age bracket, to compete at a national championship.

Coach Eric Bacon will be making his first trek to the event as well, capping his season-long sojourn with a squad that included five returnees from the 2012-2013 13U Chill team, along with seven newcomers to the fold.

"I've challenged this group an awful lot more than I've challenged any other group," said Bacon. "So there have been some errors in trying to learn new things. It's a function of learning how to be a volleyball player, learning how to be a competitive athlete."

If there was any fear and apprehension on the part of the girls, it's long since subsided.

With a majority of the players making their first appearance at provincials last month, the 14U Chill crew won two of three matches on day one, before dropping four straight en route to their elimination on Sunday morning.

"It was very different for me coaching provincials, knowing that we still had nationals around the corner," conceded Bacon. "Usually, the provincials is the last tournament of the year, everything is geared up for that."

Ranked 21st in a field of 40 teams, Bacon was hoping to guide the Northern Ontario team into a top twenty placing. The 14U Chill started well on Friday, picking up two wins and a loss, with their only defeat at the hands of the top seeded Storm Typhoon from Aurora (25-8, 25-8).

The Sudbury reps settled down nicely from there, taking out Celtique from Montreal in three sets (25-20, 19-25, 15-9) before sweeping their way past the Centennial Chargers from Broussard, Quebec (25-18, 25-12).

Re-pooled for day two on Saturday, the Chill were to face Scorpions Green (Cambridge), Extreme Bleu (Aldouane, NB) and Outtahand Markham from Concord.

The 2013-2014 14U Chill roster includes Alison LaBrash, Becca Hopkins, Brooke Smith, Christina Rorison, Kayla Murray, Kayley Hancharyk, Lexi Johnson, Marissa Beeson, Mikaela Ethier, Mikaela Richter,Natasha Gervais, Samantha McGrath, head coach Eric Bacon and assistants Glenn Murray and Danielle Marshall.

Results from the rest of the weekend to come.

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