Athletics Review: Oct 19-25, 2009

Field Hockey
SMUS played Vic High this Monday on the water-based turf, and absolutely thumped them, winning 9-0. Goals were from Janine Hsu (4), Paula Weech, Jenna Dhillon, Emma Abrioux, Krsten McLeod and Teryl Noble.

Oak Bay proved a far different opposition compared to Vic High as they were the AAA City champions (SMUS is AA in field hockey), and we duly lost 4-0, in part because of the loss of strong player Emma Abrioux, after an injury . Without subs (as the 2nd team were playing against GNS, losing 3-1), and only with 10 players, the rest of the SMUS 1st team, played a very strong defensive game against Oak Bay, despite the loss.

Going into the AA Islands at the in Duncan, the team knew that Emma Abrioux’s absence would have a profound effect. Emma Abrioux was the lynchpin for stopping attacks as her role as central defender and the key to our short corners both attacking and defensively. Nevertheless, SMUS played their hearts out throughout the tournament. Following a disappointing 3-0 loss against a very good Lambrick team (who went though as #1 from the Island), the girls came back to tie Shawnigan 1-1 in a very determined effort, with Teryl Noble scoring in the last minute of play.

On Saturday, the team started with a strong game against GNS, who played a solid territorial game and won 1-0, after an unlucky goal coming off a foot at a short corner and looping over goalkeeper Nuraiyah Kassam’s head. Knowing that we had to score plenty of goals against the weakest team at the tournament, Mark Isfeld, SMUS in the last game poured forward and ended up winning 5-0 with goals from Kirsten McLeod (2), Janine Hsu, Paula Weech and Arden Mollenhauer. However, it proved to not to be enough, as Shawnigan had the superior goal difference and went through to a playoff showdown for the final provincials berth next Wednesday in the Fraser Valley. Still, considering SMUS was without their most inspirational player, it was a satisfying set of performances to end the season.

The advances made by all players were phenomenal, which bodes very well for next season and beyond. Particular mention should be made to the emergence of Teryl Noble and Paula Weech with their tireless running in the forward line, and indeed the forward line including Janine Hsu, always posed problems for opposition defences. The midfield trio of Grade 9 Arden Mollenhauer, Kirsten McLeod and Grade 8 Jenna Dhillon, shows how blessed we will be in the future, as Kirsten was able to inspire the youngsters around her. In the back, we were ably led by Emma Abrioux and Emma Wilson-Pease with their experience, but also by the increasing game maturity of Montana Sawyer and Meredith Witoski as sweeper – both of whom really improved on the season. In goal, the alternating between Selby Knudsen and Nuraiyah Kassam helped keep both goalies fresh, and likewise, both made huge strides through the season.

Apart from a staff-student game in spring, that is it for the field hockey season for 2009 – a season of much promise, and we almost made it off the Island. At least the future is certainly promising however!

Junior Boys Soccer
In their penultimate week of league play, the Junior boys soccer team had two challenging games. On Monday, the team hosted league-leaders Stelly’s. The boys conceded a goal early on but continued to fight and managed to hold off a strong Stelly’s side. Just before half time, however, the opposition scored a second goal, this time from open play. In the second half, the boys created some great chances, but they were unable to put anything into the back of the net. The game finished 2-0.

On Wednesday, SMUS travelled to face rivals Oak Bay. The tempo of the game was high and the opposition squared off against second keeper Mark Yorath, who held off many goal attempts until Oak Bay managed to sneak one past. As the half wore on, the SMUS midfield started to gain more possession, and, after winning the ball just inside the opposition’s half, Georgios Ikanomou whipped one in and beat the keeper, bringing the teams level.

In the second half, our defence was strong. Peter Harrison and Joseph Erlic were having a particularly good game in the centre of the defense. After a run of attacks, though, the hosts took the lead once again. Late in the game, with opposition legs starting to tire, the boys started to string more passes together. Once gaining possession just outside the eighteen, Juan Pedro Gandoulf managed to turn with the ball and slot one into the back of the net. It was a wonderful goal to tie the game up for a second time. Unfortunately, the boys ran out of time and the game ended in a draw.

On Monday, the boys play their last game of the season when they host Glenlyon Norfolk in what promises to be a great game.

Grade 9 Cross-Country
The Grade 9 cross-country team finished off their season this week with more outstanding results! The boys’ team placed first at the last league race at Cedar Hill, meaning that they won every race this season in the lower Island league. At the Island Age Group Championship on Wednesday at Beaver Lake, both the boys and girls ran their very best and scored well for their respective teams.

The boys A team (Dawit Workie; 7th, Jason Chiu; 14th, Wayne Lin; 17th and Steven Whillans; 18th ) won the Grade 9 Island Championship and the B team (Alec Kinahan ;19th, Colton Stockus ;24th, Alex Campbell; 26 and Graeme Wheeler; 32 ) placed third. The girls team (Erin Hope; 10th, Allie White; 15th, Rachel Sibbald; 20th and Meriah Drabkin; 21st) placed second.

Ms. Keziere would like to thank all of the Grade 9 runners for their fantastic commitment to the team this season.

Senior Cross-Country
Last Wednesday, 29 members of the Grades 10-12 cross-country team took part in the penultimate event of the season: the Lower Island Age Group Series. The weather was threatening, but in the end, the conditions were ideal and the rain held off for what was a fantastic day of racing.

For the first time all season, the Grade 10s – both in the boys and the girls – had enough runners to score some team points. On the boys’ side, it was Ephraim Lam who shone brightly, while Alexis Thind did her part for the girls. The Grade 10 boys team finished in 4th place, while the Grade 10 girls team captured 3rd place.

The Senior girls, led by the foursome of Jocelyn Stedman, Raquel Solmer, Laura Dale and Lisa Evans did extremely well as a group, and finished in 3rd place. On the Senior boys side, it was once again Leo Marchand who led the SMUS brigade with an 11th place finish. Chris Madson had perhaps the run of the day, finishing a very strong 21st place. Had it not been for a DNF by Sean Hong, the Senior boys team would have sealed a 2nd place team finish.

Things look very good for the Senior cross-country team right now, and the team seems to be peaking at just the right time. The Island Championships happen next Wednesday afternoon at Beaver Lake, and there is a decent chance that both our Senior boys and Senior girls teams will qualify to the provincial championships. The cross-country team has not gone to the Provincials in a good number of years, so achieving this goal would be a massive accomplishment. Best of luck to the team this coming week!

Senior Girls Volleyball
This week, the Senior girls volleyball team hosted Parklands, PCS and Lambrick. Although the team was unable to defend their home court, Rebecca Mulroney played some of her best volleyball to date. After Tuesday night, it became clear that the team needed to change in order to perform well at the upcoming tournament.

On Friday, the team travelled to the Comox Valley to compete in a 24-team tournament hosted by Mark Isfeld, Vanier, and Highland. Although small in numbers, the team came out fighting in their first match and beat Campbell River Christian. Unfortunately, they could not maintain their momentum against Vanier and were defeated in two straight sets, placing SMUS second in their pool. In the cross-over match, SMUS struggled with Langley’s strong serving and aggressive hitting. This placed the team in the silver division for playoffs.

After experiencing so much defeat, the girls brushed off the losses and came back fighting hard on Saturday. They started the day with their quarter-final against Kwalkum. Despite Sophia Ducharme’s heavy hitting and Shayla Baumeler’s fierce serving the girls lost by two points in the third set. Although a heartbreaker, the girls were optimistic that they were finally out of their slump. Perhaps it was Ms. Fenneman’s birthday that really motivated the girls to win, but regardless they came out firing against Ladysmith. Mishelle Yim dominated on defense, which allowed Tanya Rossa to assist in the many kills by our front row attackers. Playing for fifth in our final match the girls defeated themselves by allowing Cowichan to have early leads in both sets, which inevitably made it impossible to overcome. Martika Rodger’s was most improved throughout the course of the tournament and Sylvia Ho and Deryn Ramsey dealt well with playing several different positions which showed great versatility. Tournament All-Stars go to all of the girls for their hard work and determination.

Grade 8 Rugby
On Tuesday this week, the Grade 8 rugby team hosted Ladysmith School. The team, despite a number of players being unavailable due to illness or injury, played very well, with some promising running rugby, securing a sound win. Players to note on the day were hooker Marco Sanati, Grade 7 prop Steven Piazza, scrumhalf Jeremy Chan and wing Sean MacArthur. Also of note was that the game was partly refereed by Grade 11 student Hubert Wang who is learning to become a rugby referee.
After a day’s rest, the boys travelled to G.P. Vanier School in Courtenay for a return match. Continuing to be hit by illnesses, injuries and unavailability, only 11 players were able to make the trip. Again, the team performed very well, with some true team tries being scored and the defence showing further signs of improvement. Levi Supowitz, in his new lock position, Zach Khan, switching between a new position at scrumhalf and his usual position at centre, prop Jordan Lane and wing Lawrence Beradelli were the leading performers on the day.

This week, the team travels to Ladysmith on Tuesday for the return fixture, and will prepare for their return visit to St. George’s on October 31st. This game will serve as an indication of how far the Grade 8 players have progressed during the season and will be a tough match.

Junior Girls Volleyball
October has been a busy month for the Junior girls volleyball team. They remain undefeated in Victoria league play, where they currently stand top in their pool. They scored decisive wins last Monday against Mount Doug and Lambrick Park.

The team enjoyed great success last weekend at the first annual Southridge Storm Volleyball Tournament. After losing to Southridge in round robin play, they clawed their way back from a third-place pool finish to defeat the host team in semi-final play, moving on to the championship game. While they came up just short to winners Charles Best Secondary, for a second-place finish, they played exceptional volleyball.

Co-captain Gilly Maycock was a standout throughout the entire weekend and was named to the tournament All-Star Team. Setters Leah Hall and Abbey Piazza were rock-solid throughout the tournament, with tough serving and brilliant court coverage. Steph Marsh also contributed greatly to the team’s victories, with tough serving and strong hitting and blocking. Shade Souc’s court coverage and overall leadership were outstanding. Credit must be given also to players who saw more court time and acquitted themselves most commendably: Kate Cluley, Hannah McElderry, Ashton Louie, Tina Yu, Sophia Neiwerth and Madi Hadfield. All these players showed remarkable improvement, especially in passing skills and court coverage.

While the girls did not come out on top in this past weekend’s Independent School Association tournament hosted at Shawigan Lake School, again they showed incredible development as a team. Hannah McElderry and Ali Pollen in particular stepped up their play, showing strong performances in both front and back court. Several players also made great strides in their overhand serving: Shade Souc, Ashton Louie, Sophia Neiwerth and Madi Hadfield.

The gains made this past weekend will certainly serve the girls well when they head back into league play this week, facing Oak Bay A and Claremont B.


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