Athletics Review: Oct 25, 2010

Middle School Cross-country

The Middle School cross-country team wrapped up their season this week with some fantatic results! After six weeks of practicing on all sorts of terrain and in every possible weather condition as well as participating successfully in four races with the Lower Island League, a loyal group of 13 athletes raced in the Island Championships at Beaver Lake.

The Grade 6 girls’ team placed 2nd overall, with placements from Kate Laumann-Wallace (7th), Miwa Masuda (13th), Grace Hart (14th) and Isabel Schopper (42nd). The Grade 6 boys’ team also took 2nd overall, with placements from Lucas Simpson (2nd), Bryn Haydock (26th), Donovan Stordy (28th) and Ben Keep (30th).

Our Grade 8 girls team placed 3rd overall, with Beta Willeboordse (19th), Christina Sipos (21st), Uma Hallea (31st) and Isabel Williams (37th). A young man who deserves special recognition is Grade 7 student Michael Wong Harrison who trained consistently all season without support from any other Grade 7 students from SMUS and he placed 8th place overall. A newcomer to the team was Anderson Wang who competed as an individual and placed 38th.

We missed strong runners Anna Mollenhauer, Sam Kahn and Max Olberg who were unable to make the championships, but whose support was appreciated throughout the season. Ms. Keziere, Ms. Miller and Mrs. Haydock all enjoyed working with the athletes and agreed that they could not have hoped for a more enthusiastic, hard working, committed team!

Junior Boys Soccer

In the final week of the regular season, the boys had two fixtures. On Monday, they travelled to the turf at Hampton Park to take on St. Andrew’s. From the start, the team imposed themselves on their smaller opponents, and in the fourth minute, after finding some space on the edge of the box, Michael Baart scored. But six minutes later, following a mix-up in defence, the boys conceded one, and suddenly the complexion of the game changed. In the twelfth minute, Keiler Totz came on and had an immediate impact, scoring a goal with almost his first touch of the ball. From that point on, the team was in complete control, and by the end of the 70 minutes Georgios Ikonomou, Fynn Kehl, and Dawit Workie had added their names to the tally of nine goals.

On Wednesday, the team hosted Reynolds in what was expected to be a tougher match than Monday’s. In the first attack, indeed in the first minute of the game, the boys moved the ball quickly up the pitch, and Michael Baart put a lovely ball through to Georgios Ikonomou who slotted home the first goal. SMUS maintained much of the possession in the first half, but Reynolds managed to claw one back and level the game in the twelfth minute.

Two minutes later, however, after some great individual work in the midfield, Georgios once again put SMUS ahead. In the second half, Reynolds started to get back into the game and was pressing for an equalizer. Cole Tamburri made some crucial saves to keep SMUS in the lead, making one spectacular save where he managed to palm the ball over the crossbar. The game went on and the play became quite open, but ten minutes from full time, Mark Kiggundu made a marauding run down the left flank, flashed inside his check, chipped a ball in from a seemingly impossible angle, and found the back of the net.

His goal gave the team a solid cushion for the boys to defend, but five minutes from full-time Reynolds scored one more from open play and continued to apply pressure until the final whistle. The boys held strong, though, and the game finished 3-2.

With this victory, not only do the boys finish first in their pool, they also clinch a berth in the Island Championship. They will now play either Oak Bay or Belmont next Wednesday at SMUS in one of the two semi-final games for the City Championship.

Field Hockey

The SMUS field hockey team trained and prepared very well for the possible culmination of their season: the AA Island Championshps at UVic last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Everyone was in good spirits after a fun scavenger hunt at Ms. Mollenhauer’s house on Wednesday night, and ready to battle hard.

The first game on Thursday against Lambrick was very even, much more so than Lambrick had envisaged. In spite of a couple of 1-on-1 chances with their goalkeeper, Lambrick were a little lucky to go in to the half 1-0 up. SMUS pressed up hard all the second half, but could not quite find an opening, and a late goal sealed it for the opposition.

On Friday with glorious weather materializing despite a poor weather forecast, SMUS played two games, the first against Brentwood losing 2-0 and then a wipeout loss against a very strong Shawnigan outfit 7-0. The Brentwood game was frustrating as the scoreline betrayed two soft goals and what was a wide open game with plenty of chances at either end, particularly in the second half.

The girls deserved better than what the score read. Playing against a team full of experienced Grade 12 players was not easy for the players in Grades 9 and 10 in our team. The following morning, the SMUS team picked themselves up and played a far better game, losing rather unluckily on a deflected goal to GNS 1-0. ]

It has been a promising season in many respects, especially with one of the youngest teams at the senior level. In the Island championships, there were only three Grade 12 players in the roster and no Grade 11 players. So, the “youngsters” in the team really had to step up to the plate, playing against senior teams in Victoria and beyond. Essentially as a Junior team, and learning huge amounts about the pace, pressure and expectations of game play, which they will take forward next year and beyond. The odds were stacked against the team this season, but it bodes well for the future.

Rowing

This weekend, while most people were enjoying time away from the academic classroom, the 38 members of the SMUS rowing team were battling other local schools and the weather at Elk Lake. This was the first regatta for many of our rowers this season.

Even though the competition pulled hard, the SMUS team pulled harder. Several of our crews made finals. Through all sorts of weather: sun, gale-force winds, and rain over two days (16 hours), everyone’s spirits remained high. All in all, it was an excellent weekend and a great team bonding experience. The coaches are exhausted and proud of the entire team’s efforts, both on and off the water. It is a pleasure to work with a great bunch of athletes!

Event Results

  • Senior Girls 2X (double): 5th fastest time in the heats (Jocelyn Stedman and Olivia Krusel)
  • Senior Girls 4X (quad): 4th (Jocelyn Stedman, Jinsun Choi, Olivia Pierce and Olivia Krusel)
  • Senior Girls 8+: 3rd (Sky Richards, Jocelyn Stedman, Jinsun Choi, Alex German, Olivia Krusel, Rebecca Berardelli, Cortney Ewonus, Gabby Jezliakov and Katherine Fretz)
  • Senior Novice Girls 4X: 3rd (Bairavi Murugakumar, Rosalie Koenig, Judy Beestermoeller and Olivia Pierce)
  • Senior Boys Novice 8+: 4th (Chloe Carlson, Stefan Hall, Fraser McGee, Oliver Lackner, Brayden Jebbink, Lucas Comamala, Alex Lamberti, David Shi, Michael Shaw)
  • Senior Novice Boys 4X: 4th but DNQ due to lane infraction (Stefan Hall, Fraser McGee, Mike Shaw and Julian Allen)
  • Junior Girls 4X: 4th (Allie White, Charlie White, Carlina Kim and Hannah McElderry)
  • Junior Novice Girls 4x: DNQ for the final
  • Junior Girls 8+: 4th (Sage Friswell, Alie White, Charlie White, Calina Kim, Hannah McElderrey, Judy Beestermoeller, Paloma Junco, Rachel Sibbald and Jocelyn Yan)
  • Junior Boys 4X: 5th (Joseph Svorkdal, Marcus Lelewski, Colin Knightley and Ryley Erickson)
  • Junior Boys 2X: 2nd (Joseph Svorkdal and Ryley Erickson)
  • Junior Boys 8+: 2nd (Sage Friswell, Joseph Svorkdal ,Ryley Erickson, Marcus Lelewski, Hannah McElderry, Kai Newman, Brody Watkins, Colin Knightley and Sebastian Schickoff)
  • Junior Novice Boys 4X: DNQ

Next up for the team are the City Championships, November 12-14th at Elk Lake.

Senior Girls Volleyball

Last Tuesday, the team played its league matches against Mount Doug, Stelly’s and Spectrum at Stelly’s. Mount Doug came out with some really strong serving and our passing was really affected. Despite all efforts, the team came up short in the first set 25-9. The second set was better overall but the stronger and more skilled Mount Doug squad prevailed 25-18.

In the second match against Stelly’s the team was able to pass more effectively and execute more attacks from free balls and serve receive. Unfortunately, we came up a bit short in both sets, 23-25 and 22-25. In the last match against Spectrum, the girls were able to recover from the disappointment against Stelly’s and respond. Some missed serves hurt us in the first set but some accurate passing and attacks from these put Spectrum on its heels. Unfortunately, we lost the set but built some momentum going into the second set. Strong serving from Shayla Baumeler and Sophia Ducharme helped turn the tide and we won the second set and match overall by total points.

This past weekend, the team travelled to Courtenay/Comox for the Isfeld/Vanier tournament. With 24 teams in eight pools of three, SMUS faced some strong teams from all over Vancouver Island and some from the Mainland. Ranked second in our pool, we faced the third-ranked Gulf Islands Secondary in the first match. Playing a relaxed and composed match, the girls prevailed over this team 25-14 in the first set. Good serving from Shade Souc, Leah Hall and Abbey Piazza paved the way to victory in the second set 25-21.

Against the first ranked Ballenas Secondary in our pool, we knew that this team would be strong. From the outset, a textbook serve receive from Abbey Piazza (one of many that match from her) really set the tone for things to come. The team, especially Tanya Rossa and Michelle Yim, passed superbly against a good serving team. This allowed Leah Hall to run many attack options off both serve receive and free balls, including some “5-1” kills for our middle blockers Annie Pike and Musu Ofosu. Shayla Baumeler really stepped up her serve receive and served aggressively. The intensity and tenacious defense was something that had been eluding us all season and this was a defining match for the team.

Excellent passing and coverage by Michelle Yim helped establish a strong transition game for us and we never looked back. The team fought off a strong surge by Ballenas to win the first set 25-19. I was really proud of the way the team maintained its focus and intensity in the second set against an even more determined opponent. Both teams squared off toe to toe with some exciting rallies, digs, and strong play. Despite losing 20-25 in the second set, the team was confident going into the third and final set.

Everyone continued to pass the ball accurately and with pride. At the side change, we were down 8-5 and at one point we were down 11-7. After a timeout the team committed to playing out the set with aggressive play – win or lose. The tide turned as we converted some tentative balls from Ballenas into some aggressive attacks and we continued to put the pressure on their defense. Musu Ofosu sealed the deal with three consecutive blocks in one critical rally near the end and we prevailed 17-15. We finished first in our pool and awaited our cross-over opponent.

Wellington from Nanaimo was our next opponent and the winner would go to the gold division. With everyone on the team playing and contributing in this evening match, the girls were able to continue the momentum and prevail in two sets 25-21 and 25-18. It was a great first day to the tournament.

On Saturday, we faced some very strong teams and were unable to recapture the energy and intensity of play we showed most of Friday. Against a very strong host school, G.P. Vanier, the team was outmatched. They served very effectively and put a lot of pressure against our defense with some solid spikes and attacks. We were unable to respond to this and lost two sets 10-25 and 23-25.

In the second set, we had a strong run to come close but some uncharacteristic errors really hurt us. The next opponent, Woodlands, was not overpowering but they were fundamentally strong and consistent. We made some errors on serve receive and could not gain any momentum at all throughout the match. After losing the first set 24-26, the team could not muster any energy in the second set and we lost 18-25. With our confidence shaken by two strong opponents, N.D.S.S. took advantage of our mistakes and turned them into to critical points for them. We fought to the last point but came up short in both sets.

Overall, the weekend was a positive step forward in our season. We demonstrated some focussed play and commitment to defense that brought us much success. We finished in the gold division eighth out of 24 teams.

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