SUDBURY – Following a nearly perfect season that led the Manitoulin Secondary School (MSS) Mustangs boys’ volleyball team to a North Shore Secondary Schools Association (NSSSA) victory, the boys travelled to face down challengers for Northern Ontario Secondary School Athletics (NOSSA) glory last week and ultimately landed themselves a third-place finish.
“There were four teams at NOSSA that all play in a round robin first and the top two play off for the championship,” said coach Mike Wesno.
The Mustangs arrived in Sudbury on Wednesday night and their first challenger was MacDonald Cartier. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t have a great game and they lost the game in two sets. In order to secure a playoff spot, they would have to win their next two games.
“Our first game Thursday was against Horizon. We played very well and lost the first set 25-23. We didn’t fare as well in the second set as some strong jump servers and Horizon school’s low roof got the best of us,” said Mr. Wesno.
Although they were officially out of the championship game, they still fought to claim their third-place finish and did so in two straight sets against Franco-Cité. Horizon, as expected, went on to win the NOSSA glory.
“I felt we definitely played right with these teams,” said Mr. Wesno, adding that the team definitely missed the assistance of player Lukas Abotossaway.
“He is a natural athlete and, before a hockey injury ended his season, he was always in the back row and passed up well over half the serves,” said Mr. Wesno.
Despite the result not being entirely as hoped, Mr. Wesno said he and the team had already begun talking about a strategy to dominate next year.
“We have many returning players and several good juniors coming up. The guys were disappointed to end up in third, but they love the game and we’re already making plans to start spring practices and get to summer volleyball camps in preparation for next year,” said Mr. Wesno.