By Darren Lum
An excited home crowd saw the potential of the Red Hawks volleyball program on display during the A Kawartha Championship loss to the Titans of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School.
The senior squad which returned after what was more than a 20-year hiatus pushed the perennial volleyball powerhouse Titans to the five set max losing 2-3 (15-25 25-15 24-26 25-19 and 9-15) on Tuesday Nov. 5 at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School.
Head coach Brett Caputo was proud of his squad following the loss.
“The boys played great as a team and really surprised a strong team from St. Thomas” he wrote several days later in an email.
Caputo said among the Hawks’ standouts were “Brian Kim who was virtually unstoppable in the middle and Liam Little with some key kills late in matches.”
He added the team’s narrow loss was the result of a lack of “serving consistency and an aggressive St. Thomas front line that was what put us out in the end.”
“Overall we performed better than expected with a young roster in our first year in the senior division. Coach Justin Collins and I are looking forward to having a seasoned crew next year” he wrote.
The tournament ended with the Kenner Rams finishing first earning a berth to the all-provincials. Second place was earned by the Titans and then Haliburton.
Caputo said the senior team plateaued when it came to individual play and development. However the expected infusion of junior players moving up next year will help.
Little is expected to be the lone loss for the seniors due to graduation while everyone else on the team is in Grade 11 this year. The juniors expected to joi n the seniors are Corin Gervais Hunter Winder Nick Phippen and Darian Maddock.
The juniors will be hungry to perform next year. Caputo said the juniors “under performed” in the Kawartha Championship from what he expected and also did not qualify for COSSA.
“We were fairly successful with last year’s group during the regular season. Next year’s focus will be to learn how to play as a team in a variety of situations. Team defence offensive courage and team blocking. Our play at Kawartha was a pleasant surprise but our mental toughness and decision making abilities will need to improve if we want to make it to the next level” he wrote.