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Wolves girls volleyball team earns return trip to OFSAA


Wolves girls volleyball team

The North Star Wolves senior girls volleyball team have earned a return trip to OFSAA.


The Wolves won the SWOSSAA “AA” championship last Wednesday night in Petrolia. North Star defeated Lambton Central Collegiate & Vocational Institute (LCCVI) in three straight sets 25-8, 25-17 and 25-13 to advance to OFSAA. The provincial tournament is March 4-6 in Sydenham, which is located near Kingston.


An injury to one of their key players the previous weekends during a volleyball match with her club team caused concern going in, but that player was able to power through and play through the pain.


“I was somewhat concerned going in because Lauren (Essenpreis) sprained her ankle on the weekend,” said North Star head coach Jeff Miller. “Lauren couldn’t jump up. She was at 20 per cent in reality.”


Essenpreis was “a shell of herself” in the SWOSSAA “AA” final but was able to walk on it and get some action against LCCVI.


“She was a trooper who helped us get by, that’s for sure,” said Miller.


North Star was already missing Lillian Mereszak and Addison Prieur, who are out for the season with knee injuries.


Miller added that the rest of the players stepped up around Essenpreis. He said they had to serve well and play good defense.


“They really stepped up around Lauren,” added assistant coach Mary Ewer. “She was hurt. She was a trooper.”


Ewer added Audrey Dib played well against LCCVI.


The Wolves played well in the first set of the SWOSSAA “AA” final, let LCCVI back into it a bit in the second set before taking over in the third set and winning the regional title.


“It was good to win SWOSSAA and get back to OFSAA,” said Miller. “Hopefully we can have a good week of practice so we can play as clean as possible with what we have.”


Defending OFSAA “AA” champions Thomas A. Blakelock out of St. Catharines return to defend their title and there are strong teams from the London and Ottawa areas that North Star will have to contend with.


“We have to play smart and do the little things well,” said Miller. “We’re definitely going to run into teams that have more firepower than us.”


The goal is to get out of pool play, get to the championship quarterfinals and go from there.


“We’re just taking it one match at a time and do the best we can,” said Miller.

Getting to OFSAA is an accomplishment for this year’s team.


“It’s always a good accomplishment to win WECSSAA and SWOSSAA,” he said.


“They’ve dealt with a lot more than most teams, that’s for sure,” said Miller.


North Star/General Amherst won the antique bronze (fourth place) in each of the program’s last two trips to OFSAA.


By Ron Giofu


Wolves girls volleyball team earns return trip to OFSAA

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