STURGEON FALLS—The boys in gold and black have done it again—the seniors boys’ volleyball team is headed for the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) championships this week for the second year in a row, and this time they’re hoping to bring back some hardware.
The Mustangs took top honours at the Northern Ontario Secondary School Athletics (NOSSA) volleyball championships at Sturgeon Falls on Friday. L’Horizon of Sudbury, West Ferris of North Bay, Franco-Cité of Sturgeon Falls and Manitoulin Secondary School all met in a round-robin showdown that first pitted the Mustangs against L’Horizon, taking the first two sets handily. MSS then lost to West Ferris, but still qualified for the finals thanks to their first win.
The Mustangs moved on to play Franco-Cité, with Coach Pete Kategiannis benching his top two setters for these sets, as they knew it would have no bearing on the final showdown. MSS lost to the Sturgeon Falls team.
The Mustangs once again met L’Horizon in the showdown winning their first set 25-15. L’Horizon came back for the second two, giving the ‘Stangs a run for their money and setting the coach on the edge of his seat, he admits, but MSS held its own and won the final set 25-22, giving them a place at the OFSAA table.
“We have a shot at a medal,” Coach Kategiannis said proudly, noting that OFSAA had not yet released which pool the Mustangs will be relegated to in the provincial championships.
He said that Louis Riel of Ottawa, a sports academy, almost assuredly has the gold medal in the bag, but he thinks his team can medal too.
This will be the coach’s last trip to OFSAA too, a bittersweet feeling, he admits.
“This is it!” he remarked. “My last chance at OFSAA gold.” Mr. Kategiannis has his last year at MSS next year before retiring, with this year being his last as Mustangs coach.
“I’m tired,” he admitted.
“Last year we went to OFSAA too, but it was a fairly young team and they felt intimidated,” he said. “This year they’ll have more of a confident outlook.”