GSSSA volleyball championships all set to get underway today

TIME TO ADVANCE: The CV Bethel Stingrays’ senior girls will meet the Government High School Magic in the best-of-three championship round starting today at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium.

TIME TO ADVANCE: The CV Bethel Stingrays’ senior girls will meet the Government High School Magic in the best-of-three championship round starting today at the Kendal GL Isaacs Gymnasium.


A VALIANT EFFORT: The CI Gibson Rattlers’ senior boys defeated the CV Bethel Stingrays to advance to the GSSSA volleyball finals once again. Photos: Tenajh Sweeting/Tribune Staff


Tribune Sports Reporter


THE Government Secondary Schools Sports Association (GSSSA) volleyball championships are all set to be played for the senior and junior division titles at the Kendal G L Isaacs Gymnasium today at 4pm.

The senior girls’ champions will be decided between the pennant winners CV Bethel Stingrays and the second-seeded Government High School Magic.

The senior boys championship game will feature pennant winners Anatol Rodgers Timberwolves versus last season’s defending champions CI Gibson Rattlers.

In the junior division, the HO Nash Lions girls team are looking to defend their title reign against the fourth-seeded LW Young Golden Eagles.

Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles boys team will take on the Timberwolves in a best-of-three championship series.

Senior Division

Action intensified at the Anatol Rodgers High School Gymnasium yesterday evening as the senior girls and boys looked to book a spot in the championship round.

For the senior girls, the Magic served up a gut-wrenching loss to the defending champions CR Walker Knights in three sets.

The Magic versus Knights win or go home playoff game seemed like a replay of last week’s regular season match which took place at the CI Gibson Gymnasium and also ended in three sets.

The second-seeded team went head-to-head with the reigning champions and knocked them off 25-13 in set one. Similar to last Wednesday’s game, the Knights mounted a comeback in set two (25-19) and derailed the Magic’s chance of a sweep. However, the final set was truly a nail-biter as both teams refused to go down. Ultimately, the Magic copied last week’s feat, upsetting the defending champions to advance to the championship round.

Charma Smith, head coach of the Magic, was overjoyed as she talked about advancing against the Lady Knights.

“The third set we were down by maybe six points. I told my girls to keep playing, we are going down until the final whistle. I know my girls are fighters and we did it. I am so proud of them, this is our year,” Smith said.

Her advice to the players going into tomorrow’s best-of-three championship round against the Stingrays is simple - keep the energy, and play hard regardless of the outcome.

The Stingrays advanced to the championship round after shutting down the Timberwolves in consecutive sets. The senior girls’ quest to the finals started with a 25-22 narrow win in set one. Set two had the same result but a wider margin of victory with them winning 25-13.

Shantelle Rolle, head coach of the Stingrays, was happy to be back in the championship round after finishing as runners-up last season.

“A win feels good. I told my girls Anatol handed us our only loss of the season, we have to come out, play hard, hustle, communicate, and move to every ball that comes across on our side,” Rolle said.

The head coach added that they are looking to transfer yesterday’s energy and intensity to the championship round today.

The Rattlers are once again back in the GSSSA volleyball finals. Last year’s top team destroyed the Knights senior boys in straight sets. The team put up identical scores of 25-16 in set one and two to make their return to the championship series.

The Timberwolves will be vying to be the new GSSSA senior boys champions after eliminating the Stingrays in two matches. The first set went to the league’s best senior boys team 25-22 and set two ended 25-21.

Junior Division

Patricia “Pattie” Johnson and the Lions junior girls are in contention for the GSSSA volleyball championship title for the second consecutive year.

The junior team closed out the AF Adderley Tigers in a 2-0 sweep, claiming the sets 21-19, 21-11. For the Lions to repeat as title winners, they will have to take down the Golden Eagles. The latter toppled last year’s runners-up SC McPherson Sharks in two sets - 23-22, 21-18.

The junior boys had an intense battle in their sudden death playoff rounds. The fourth-seeded Timberwolves needed three sets to put away last year’s champions DW Davis Royals at their gymnasium.

The Royals threw and landed the first blow to win set one 23-22.

The Timberwolves were relentless in the following set and emerged as victors 21-7. The Royals seemed to run out of gas in the final set and their opponents won 15-10. The Golden Eagles will prepare for a fight against the Timberwolves after they ousted the Lions in three sets.

The championship contenders stopped the Lions 21-13 in the opening match. Set two favoured the Lions, ending 22-20.

In the final set, the Golden Eagles obliterated their opponent 15-4 to widen their title window.

The best-ot-three championship series will begin at 4pm today and continue into Thursday.

Games will be played on Friday if necessary.


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