November 2018 / Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Volleyball Team Wins Silver
It was a very busy and eventful summer for members of Canada’s Youth National Indoor Volleyball team. The team was made up of 12 athletes from Ontario, 1 athlete from BC and as well as 1 from Alberta with all members 16 years of age or younger. They participated in 2 major tournaments this past summer.
First, the team travelled to Tulsa to play in the US HP Championships in July. After 5 days of competition, the girls finished 4th in the International Junior Women’s division losing in the bronze medal match to the older Canadian Junior Women’s team, quite an accomplishment for a team this age. Phoenix Lee, setter from Burlington, was named to the tournament all star team.
A month later the team travelled to Honduras to participate in the Norceca 18U Continental Championships as a qualifier for the FIVB 18U World Championships scheduled for the summer of 2019 in Egypt. The girls had a slow start dropping their first 2 matches in pool play to Cuba and Dominican Republic. However, after that, the team caught fire and beat Costa Rica to advance to the quarter finals. In quarters Canada took on the host team Honduras in front of a full house. The Canadians were victorious despite the ruckus made by the home town crowd. With that win the girls advanced to the semi-finals against Cuba, whom they previously lost to on the first day of competition. The winner would advance to the finals and be one of 2 teams to qualify for the World Championships.
The match was a battle from the start and with both teams having won 2 sets a piece, it came down to the 5th and final set to determine a winner. The Canadians trailed 4-10 at one point and later in the match found themselves down 11-14, on the brink of losing the set and match. However, Team Canada’s resilience and “never say die” attitude saw them battled back and eventually winning the set 16-14 and match 3-2. Canada faced the United States in the finals losing to their arch rivals. Winning silver is the highest ever finish for the women’s youth program, aka “littleladymaples”, as they’re known on Instagram. The last time the team earned a spot in the world’s was 30 years ago. Kat Georgiadis, from Scarborough, was named the best libero of the tournament.