With a pair of bronze medal performances already on their 2019-2020 resume, tournament number three was all about holding their spot in the Championship flight for the Northern Chill 15U Chillers boys volleyball team.
Coach Bryan Welsh and company may have cut it close, but it was mission accomplished, in the end. Morning pool play went roughly as expected, the 5th seeded Chill opening with a sweep of the Durham Attack Spitfires (# 8 - 26-24, 25-22), but falling to the second seed Leaside Thunderbirds, 9-25, 19-25.
The quarter-final match proved tougher than expected, the Sudbury squad unable to slow down the Maverick Chargers (16-25, 12-25) from Ottawa, the team that finished second in Pool C. But it was the final encounter of the day, the critical 5th/7th placement that determines who remains in this bracket, and who is relegated down, which was as close as they come.
Thankfully, the Chill would enjoy a festive trip back from the nation's capital, holding on for a 24-26, 25-22, 15-13 victory over the Durham Attack Spitfires, in the rematch. "The boys had a really good day, with both Yannick Giguere and Simon Lemieux playing new positions, and both playing with experience beyond their years," noted coach Welsh.
"Nate Mrochek was absolutely amazing, especially after missing almost a month due to illness."
The 2019-2020 edition of the Northern Chill 15U Chillers boys that will now continue in the Championship grouping also features Quinn Bardell, Cale Bast, Jordan Schweyer, Asher Kolari, Zacharie LeBlanc, Liam Patterson, James Welsh, head coach Bryan Welsh, assistant coach James Schweyer and team manager Kayna Bardell.