What was setting up to be a promising season ended in disappointment for the Rainy River Owls’ junior girls’ volleyball team.
The Owls saw their title hopes come to a crashing halt with a four-set loss to the host St. Thomas Aquinas Saints in the NorWOSSA ‘A’ semi-finals back on Feb. 13 in Kenora.
The squad started off great in winning the first set 25-19 but then dropped the next three by scores of 25-19, 25-22, and 25-12.
“A tough way to end the season,” conceded head coach Corey Smith.
“Our starting setter didn’t make the trip as she came down with the ‘flu,” he noted.
“I think that made our team second-guess their abilities and didn’t allow them to think that they could take the win.
We came out strong but started to doubt ourselves,” Smith added. “When we start getting down on ourselves, the girls have a tough time rebounding and staying positive.”
The Atikokan Voyageurs ended up winning gold with a 3-1 win over the Saints the following day while all the Owls have to look forward to now is the future.
Smith said the team was a joy to coach this season, and he is looking forward to what next season may have in store for his athletes.
“They work hard and their dedication to the team is remarkable,” he lauded.
“They want to practice as often as they can and they love to compete.
“We only have a few Grade 9s [returning] so they [the squad] will have their work cut out for them next year,” Smith warned.
“[But] they have improved a great deal over the season, and I am confident those girls will step up and lead the team next year,” he predicted.