The Inverness Rebels defeated the Pomquet Pantheres 25-14, 23-25, 17-15 in the final to capture their invitational tournament on Saturday. Members of the team include, from left: (front) Emma Kennedy and Jessie Clarke; (back) coach David MacIsaac, Katie Anne MacDonald, Rhonda Hartford, Sarah Ryan, Keisha Gillis, Caris Forance, Avery MacKinnon, coach Norma MacKinnon.
-by Bill Dunphy
The Inverness Rebels are enjoying early-season success in high school girls volleyball, winning their second straight tournament of the season.
Undefeated hosts of a 12-team tournament at Inverness Education Centre Academy on Friday and Saturday, the Rebels won a close match in the championship game, defeating the Pomquet Pantheres 25-14, 23-25, 17-15.
While winning is the ultimate goal of any sports team, Rebels coach David MacIsaac said it’s a two-edged sword.
“On the one side, the younger girls, and the older girls, haven’t won a lot in high school volleyball, so winning something early is important. You learn that it’s not about winning and losing, but rather it’s about the competition...competing for every point, that’s where you’re trying to push them.”
On the other side, MacIsaac said, “You work hard to win and sometimes you back off on the hard work because it’s easy to win, but winning doesn’t happen like that.”
The Rebels were split into two groups for the tournament, the older group that won and a younger group of grades 8 and 9.
The younger group played Pomquet in the crossovers and took the match to three games.
“I want every player to take something away from the match. The grades 8 and 9s are really, really young and the game (against Pomquet) got fast on them and Pomquet picked on their inexperience. With experience, they learn to read the play before the ball is attacked.”
The Inverness gym was basically filled with spectators for the two-day tournament and MacIsaac said that’s important too.
“It’s great to see the community support. To me, that’s huge, and the kids have given them reason. You don’t have to motivate these kids. There’s lots of intrinsic motivation, they work hard and don’t rest on their laurels.”
The 12 teams were divided into four pools of three.
Pool A: Inverness Red defeated Riverview 25-14, 25-7; East Antigonish 25-21, 25-21. EAEC defeated Riverview 25-13, 26-24 to finish second.
Pool B: Pomquet defeated Cape Breton Highlands 14-25, 25-14, 15-13; Etoile de l’Acadie 25-18, 25-20. Etoile de l’Acadie defeated CBHA 20-25, 25-14, 15-13 to finish second.
Pool C: Northumberland defeated Dalbrae 25-15, 25-22; Cabot 13-25, 25-17, 15-5. Dalbrae defeated Cabot 25-15, 25-13 to finish second.
Pool D: North Nova defeated Sydney Academy 21-25, 25-13, 15-13; Inverness Black, 25-17, 17-25, 15-13. Inverness Black defeated Sydney Academy 23-25, 25-13, 15-13 to finish second.
Crossovers and playoffs were on Saturday, beginning with games between teams who finished third in their pools.
CBHA defeated Riverview 25-8, 25-10 and then defeated Sydney Academy 25-15, 25-9.
Cabot defeated Sydney Academy 25-22, 11-25, 15-12 and then defeated Riverview 25-20, 20-25, 15-13.
In the match for 9th and 10th place, the Huskies defeated Cabot 26-24, 25-10.
In quarterfinal play, Inverness Red defeated Dalbrae 25-14, 25-11 to advance to the semifinals. Also advancing to the semis were: Pomquet (defeating Inverness Black 16-25, 25-11, 15-6); Northumberland (defeating East Antigonish 21-25, 25-20, 15-11); and North Nova (defeating Etoile de l’Acadie 25-18, 25-18).
In the semifinals, Inverness defeated Northumberland and Pomquet defeated North Nova.
The final rankings are as follows: 1. Inverness Red; 2. Pomquet; 3. North Nova; 4. Northumberland; 5. East Antigonish; 6. Etoile de l’Acadie; 7. Dalbrae; 8. Inverness Black; 9. Cape Breton Highlands; 10. Cabot; 11. Sydney Academy; 12. Riverview.
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