November 25, 2022 · 0 Comments
By Brian Lockhart
The Westside Secondary School Thunder senior boys’ volleyball team has claimed the District 4 championship with a win over Center Dufferin District High School in the final game.
Westside had a stellar season finishing in first place in the District standings winning eight of 12 matches.
This season, games were played in a tournament style at different schools with teams playing three matches each day.
The top four teams went into playoffs on Monday, Nov. 14, with Westside being the home venue for the championship event.
The action got underway at 9:00 am with Westside up against Emmanuel Christian High School (ECHS) from Fergus in the semi-final round of competition. It was a best-of-five sets competition.
In the semi-final, Westside dispatched ECHS in three straight sets.
In the other semi-final, Center Dufferin eliminated Center Wellington High School.
The final match between Westside and Center Dufferin got underway in the afternoon with a good-sized audience in the stands.
Westside won the District title winning three straight sets in a match that was well played by both teams.
Westside coach, Jessica Shortt has done an outstanding job working with the boys’ volleyball teams at the high school over the past few years and bringing home several championships.
“This is our fourth year in a row winning the Senior District Title,” Ms. Short explained. “This team is the most mentally tough team I’ve ever coached. Not all the wins have been as decisive as they were in that final. We could be down by two, and keep fighting, fighting, fighting, and it doesn’t always result in a win, but they never get down on themselves. Some of our players are new to the sport and some played on the junior team. The tournament days were tiring, so it helps to have a deep bench.”
The senior team previously won the title in 2018, 2019, and 2021, with no athletics taking place in 2020 due to the pandemic.
During play, the squad had a real talent for setting up the ball and covering each other during matches.
“This was a bit of a rebuilding year,” Ms. Short explained. “We improved a lot and perfected the things we were good at. We really worked on any weak spots that became apparent during the regular season. We really tried to work on serves and passing. What really helped today was energy and communication – as soon as those go, things can fall apart. They keep their energy up, in a way I’m so proud of, every day.”