Red Hawks dominate at home
By Darren Lum
Published Dec. 11, 2018
The Red Hawks volleyball junior and senior girls proved to be the queens of the court after hosting a pair of single A schools, the Titans of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary and the Bulldogs of Brock High School on Thursday, Dec. 6.
With a small crowd of peers and family watching, the Hawks’ two squads combined to win 11 out of a possible 12 sets after two rally-point matches. This was the first competition for the Hawks.
It was a great start to the exhibition series of tournaments, which leads to league play.
With just three schools, there was an opportunity for best of three matches instead of the typical limit of two sets. It was a strong showcase of skills and composure for the juniors and seniors.
The juniors’ lone loss of the day was a narrow 15-25 loss to the Titans. They won the match 2-1.
Senior Hawks coach Dan Gimon is optimistic about his team after seeing them play. He liked how they executed and acknowledged the Hawks power game advantage against the opponents, who lacked the personnel for an offence to employ spiking on a regular basis.
Gimon said focus is key to success, particularly against weaker teams.
“All teams tend to play down to the level of their opposition. We try and keep them at their level and maintain [it] and stay tough because we’re going to come up against tougher teams,” he said.
He adds the team continues to work and will improve.
His message to his players is to never be spectators and remain engaged.
“You have to be ready at all times and I think they came through,” he said.
Serving was also a strong aspect for the seniors, who had stretches of powerful and precise serves, which resulted in difficult returns for their opponents.
He tells his players to focus on that first serve.
“Get the first serve in because you work hard to get that ball back and to put that ball into the net or out brings the whole team down. Get that first serve in and then start serving tough,” he said.
Making a mistake on a serve also takes a player out of the serving rotation for four turns, he said.
This tournament also provides game experience, which not only informs his players about position and playing with others, but helps with confidence. The record was also indicative of the team’s reserves, who he said “stepped up.”
Getting playing experience is important for success later in the season.
“If you don’t play them when it comes to crunch time somebody gets injured and then they don’t know where to go,” he said.
Against the Titans, the Hawks faced a strong net coverage team.
Gimon said the team responded well to the challenge and he ran set plays where the power player hit from behind the attack line.
He loved what he saw from his rookies and believes they will improve.
First year player and a middle hitter Rebecca Archibald has skills, but can still improve.
He has all the “confidence in the world” that her reads at the net will develop so she knows when to get up at the net and when to drop back.
Rookie setter Emma Casey started all 12 sets for the seniors.
“There’s a few little things we need to work on with her, but she did great. For six sets for a rookie setter in senior she did amazing,” he said.
Starting setter Arden Harrop, who was dressed, was kept off the court for the competition for precautionary reasons due to rolling her ankle. Harrop has been practising, but wasn’t game ready due to her aggressive style of play.
“She can’t go half speed,” he said.
Gimon didn’t want to reaggravate the injury.
This week the team will play at Lindsay Collegiate Vocational Institute in Lindsay where they are expected to play St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School, including stiffer competition with Fenelon Falls Secondary School, the Spartans of LCVI and I.E. Weldon.