Athenas take out prowling Lions

East York Athenas proved to be double the trouble for Monarch Park Jan. 11.

Both the junior and senior girls volleyball teams took straight sets to down the visiting Lions 25-20, 25-12 and 25-15, 25-23.

Though both teams were victors, junior co-coach Stacy Ganogiannis said her crew was a little flat, attributing it to a lack of exposure to a hometown crowd.

“This was the first home game that we had, so I don’t think the girls were used to spectators encouraging them,” she said, adding one key player was out of the lineup and another was late to the match.

“The dynamic of the team was a bit off,” Ganogiannis said. “I think they need a couple of points under their belts to really get the momentum and for them to be motivated to win.”

Her fellow coach Cathy Smith agreed, though she added Shanika Ali and Anastasia Grekos played well under the newfound pressure.

However, the senior Athenas were buoyed by the exceptional play of Teshaunna Grey both at the net and serving, coach Maria Fortier said.

“She played fantastically today,” she said. “I think it helped that not a lot of blocks were happening until the second game, when (Monarch Park) started picking up on that.

“That helped out a lot because I basically told them in the second set to swing away because you’ve got nothing stopping you.”

Monarch Park’s teams shared the same woe: lacking a starting setter.

Junior Lions coach Alpha Conteh said missing their point player was crucial.

“In most games if you start off good you tend to finish well,” he said. “When something starts going wrong, without a leader to turn to everything just keeps going bad.

“Usually when (the setter’s) here, if we had an eight-point lead like we had, we would’ve been able to finish.”

Though the senior team was also sans-setter, coach Kelly Watson said Kathleen Porter answered the call well.

She added Nyiri duCharne also contributed to a strong Lions outing.

The juniors got key performances from Iva Srbinovska and Sammy Van Herk.

And even though the team gave up an early lead in the first game, Conteh was going to keep the mood light among his charges.

“I will encourage them to enjoy the game of volleyball with a little more passion and intensity,” he said.

East York’s junior team lost a Jan. 13 match against Northern Red Knights 2-0 (25-21, 25-22) causing them to drop to 3-3. The seniors doused Ursula Franklin Flames 2-1 (25-18, 20-25, 15-9) to rise to a 5-2 record.

On tap next for the two teams were North Toronto Norsemen for the juniors Jan. 13 and Rosedale Heights for the seniors Jan. 19.

Results were not know at press time.

About this article:

By: Brian Baker
Posted: Jan 27 2010 10:01 am
Filed in: Sports
Edition: Toronto