The energy of teamwork has Forest Hill’s senior boys volleyball squad atop the South Region’s West Division.
But their biggest challenge was handling the undefeated Western Tech Colts, who were 4-0 heading into their Oct. 24 home match.
Still, Falcons coach Julmina Ibe had a sixth sense the outcome would be in her squad’s favour.
“I think this is a young team, they’ve worked very hard throughout the season,” she said. “It’s all them. They’re very determined, energetic and because of that they’ve been playing their best.”
Setter Josh Weinstein proved to be the wind beneath his teammates’ wings, with his set on point, they would win 2-0 (25-21, 25-23).
“Our team has progressed a lot since the beginning of the year,” he said. “We came in there, they were a good 4-0 team and we were up for the challenge.
“We kept our composure and for the most part we managed to get our hits in.”
At the net with Weinstein was Shane Bassett, who was fearless in the face of overkills, collecting blocks at key moments. Along in the backcourt was Yuji Suzuki.
The big three for Forest Hill proved to be trouble for Western Tech, but the Colts’ coach Amber O’Neill was well aware of that.
“We had high expectations but we knew this was going to be the toughest team we were going to play because they are first right now,” she said.
Where the Colts cantered when they should have galloped was in blocking and digging.
“We didn’t close our block enough and we don’t get enough touches to help out our passers in the back row,” she said. “Some of the kids are not getting into their proper positions which makes digging difficult.”
Still, her charges worked hard including Adrian Davies who picked up most of the missed blocks, along with team captain Steve Nguyen and middle Christopher Basant.
Nguyen noted that communication was essential in keeping the game close.
“Today was to just work on the team defence and getting the team to come together with a little more chemistry and energy,” he said. “I think energy is important as a team.”
Ibe has her own fine-tuning to do for Forest Hill’s playoff run, with the squad at 5-1.
“The challenge, I think, and one of the things I keep stressing on them is communication and movement.”
The brief lack of positioning and guidance was rectified though in the Western Tech match.
“At one point there was a breakdown in communication,” Ibe said. “But once that was addressed they got it back.”
A promising sign heading into the South Region post-season play.
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