By Darren Lum
Published Jan. 14 2019
Three matches. Three wins. One goal for the Red Hawks junior girls’ volleyball team.
A long run in the Kawartha High School Volleyball League’s post-season which will allow the team to play and host the Central Ontario Secondary Schools Association championships was at the heart of the strong showing that saw the juniors win all three of their exhibition matches on Thursday Jan. 9 at home in Haliburton.
It’s the only scenario that will enable the Hawks to have another home tournament following the undefeated play on Thursday Jan. 9 at the Haliburton Highlands Secondary School.
The Hawks played three consecutive matches beating the Port Hope Spartans 2-0 (25-12 and 25-15) first then the Kenner Rams 2-0 (25-15 and 25-13) and finished the day 2-0 against the Norwood Knights (25-7 and 25-11). Of the Hawks’ three opponents Port Hope was the strongest.
Coach Dan Gimon said he loved how his team dictated the play.
He believes a major strength for the team which includes coach Janice Scheffee is its depth. “I’m happy with them all. We played basically two lines and they were very equal which is a coach’s dream. We don’t have a strong line and a weak line. We’ve got two strong lines” he said. “I love it.”
In the past he said there have been a strong starting six and a weaker bench.
“We have a strong bench now and I’ve told the girls that. You make it easy on us. If somebody is having a bad day then you can go on and I have confidence that you’ll be able to carry it and that’s great. They all know that. We’re working on confidence. We’re working on composure. I’ve done that the last two years. That’s kind of my philosophy is that if you’re confident you’re going to play well” he said.
Players of note include Kiera Casey who played solidly at setter and also served well which included more than half of the 25 points for winners against the Norwood Knights.
Gimon said he liked the play of Kristina Barry who was strong with serving and hits on the day libero Brooke Stover who he said is so quick sometimes she “overruns the ball” and Bella Smolen.
The team captains are Emmerson Wilson and Ava Smith.
Gimon who was the senior Red Hawks volleyball coach the past two years said the team is developing well particularly with their ability to read plays instead of reacting to them.
“They’ve still got a ways to go but they’re coming along nicely. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to drop down to junior [and coach] is to teach the reading and anticipation aspect as opposed to reacting. Typically players that don’t have a lot of experience they react more than anticipating. If they can read and anticipate you can get to the ball quicker you can play better” he said.