U17 Pakmen Boys win U18 OVA Grand Prix
Over the past few weeks, the u17coaches have stressed many components that we believe are key ingredients to achieving success at this level and beyond. They feel that for this team to continue achieving success, they must further develop their physical skills but just as importantly, their mental skills.. This past weekend the OVA 18U Boys Ken Davies Grand Prix was a true test of their development to this point.
Early on in pool play, they team was challenged having numerous matches consisting of sets being determined by scores as tight as 29-27, 26-24, and 25-23. The boys showed a great deal of composure and poise being able to close out games, stay away from errors and keep pressure on the opposing teams. Despite how close all the matches were, it was comforting to know that the depth of the team can compete with the best in the OVA as coach|Karim Khalil was able to make substitutions throughout the whole roster at any point and not worry about the outcome.
Throughout the playoffs, Khalil was very impressed with how the players raised their level of intensity and competitiveness with each match. “Each match provided different challenges, however the leadership coming from left sides Sharone Vernon-Evans and Parvir Jhajj, and setter Jordan Figueira sparked a confidence that despite being in stressful situations, they found ways to rise to the occasion.” In the quarterfinals, the Pakmen faced an extremely athletic team in Storm Lightning and won a scrappy match 25-23 and 25-15. The semifinals was a repeat of our pool play matchup with the Scarborough Titans who once again forced the Pakmen to a third set that we emerged from 15-8. This match forced they team to stick to the defensive principles we’ve been stressing and it carried over into the finals. Anchored by libero Liam Butchereit, they boys were able to adjust to opposing teams’ tendencies and make stops. This was showcased in the finals, against a strong and well coached LVC Heat team, as Butchereit made some key digs that proved to be the difference in our 25-17, 25-23 win.
After the win, team Captain Parvir Jhajj added, “we’re extremely proud of our win this weekend. We played some tough matches that really made us play together as a unit, and stay mentally focused. This is a big win for us heading into the 17U and 18U Ontario Championships, but there is still room to improve”.
This weekend was proof that we are continuing to develop as a team and are moving in the right direction. But indeed, there is a lot more room for improvement. We look forward to readying ourselves for Provincials and Nationals.