WATERLOO REGION (November 8, 2018) – The Saints’ and Cavaliers’ fans on Wednesday night in Cambridge brought as much energy to the gym as the players while they battled in a five showdown for the District 8 Championship.
Both St. Benedict’s and Woodland traded blows in the first set as the score never grew in either teams favour by more than two points. Saints’ Ryan Frias led his squad to a first set, 27-25 win with strong serving and some powerful hits.
With the Saints’ coming out flat in the second set, Woodland was able to gain a four point advantage early, and preserved that momentum through the end of the third.
Left side attacker Judah Verbeek from Woodland couldn’t be stopped in the second and third frame as he crushed balls from all over the court to take both sets 25-17 and 25-15.
St. Benedict’s made their first substitution in the fourth set bringing in grade 11 Adam Shoemaker who was finally able to put some blocks on Verbeek’s attack.
Late in the fourth set with St. Benedict’s down 19-15, they rallied to score five of seven points forcing Woodland to take a timeout with a 21-20 advantage, and then again tied 23-23.
These timeouts were no match for the Saints’ momentum as they won ten of the final 14 points played in the fourth set finishing 25-23 and pushing it to a fifth frame.
Woodland would open up with a 7-5 advantage in the fifth before St. Benedict’s would score three straight points at the changeover forcing Woodland into another timeout.
Woodland answered the call, going on their own three point run regaining the lead 10-8, forcing the Saints’ into their own timeout situation. St. Benedict’s would rally from this point with huge attacks from middle attacker Bryson Meadus and outstanding defence from Niko Lombardi and Lenny Lombardi as they took the set and the championship 16-14.
This is the first senior boys volleyball title for St. Benedict’s since the inaugural District 8 season in 1990.
The Saint’s will now advance to the ‘AAA’ CWOSSA Championships November 15th in Kitchener-Waterloo. Woodland’s season is not over as they will advance to the ‘A’ CWOSSA Championships that they will host on November 14th. District 8’s ‘AA’ CWOSSA rep, Monsignor Doyle will compete in their CWOSSA Championship in Simcoe November 14th and 15th.
Before the senior match was played, the junior boys volleyball championship was decided between the junior squad from Woodland and the regular season winner, Resurrection Phoenix.
Woodland was fairly dominant throughout the match as they maintained solid defence and constant attacks at the net.
The junior Cavaliers rolled to a three set victory, 25-18, 25-19 and 25-12 as they will advance to the ‘A’ CWOSSA Championships.
Resurrection will advance to the ‘AAA’ CWOSSA Championships, while St. David’s will represent D8 at the ‘AA’ Championships.