Braves advance to league semi-finals

By Larry Moko

Logan Garvey did it all for the Brebeuf senior girls’ high school volleyball team Monday. And it started even before the match began when she helped the two officials make final adjustments to the net.

With captain Garvey leading the way, the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves defeated the visiting St. John Henry Newman Cardinals, 3-0, in a Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic quarter-final playoff game.

The scores were 25-17, 25-7, 25-17.

Elsewhere, the Bishop Ryan Celtics topped the Cathedral Gaels, 3-0, and the St. Mary Crusaders edged the Bishop Tonnos Titans, 3-1. The first-place St. Thomas More Knights, who received an opening-round bye, will face the Braves in one of the semifinals Wednesday while St. Mary travels to BR for the other.

“I can’t say enough about Logan,” Brebeuf coach Inez DeBellis said. “Tonight, she was her usual self. She has it all. Every skill. She’s also intense and coachable.

“She’s the glue that we need.”

A former Team Ontario representative and current member of the Mountain Volleyball Club’s U18 squad, Garvey was one of the points leaders against Newman. In addition, she stood out defensively by making numerous sprawling digs. In reference to Garvey, Newman coach Henry Stachurski said: “You’d love to have six of her on the team … 12 of her if you could get them.
She has a great motor. Offensively, she has the ability to make the different cuts and change her angles at the top. She has had a great career at Brebeuf. I’m sure she’ll do well at the next level, too, wherever she goes.”

Brebeuf and Newman each ended up with an 8-6 record in the regular-season standings. However, Brebeuf took fourth spot due to its two victories over Newman in their head-to-head meetings.

“A whole bunch of teams were really close this year,” Stachurski said. “We beat St. Thomas More (first-place finishers) and Bishop Ryan (second-place) twice each but we had trouble beating other people.

“We just couldn’t pull things together all the time. We were very inconsistent. And inconsistency hurt us today.”

According to Stachurski, the Cardinals didn’t do themselves any favours by making eight service errors in the first set alone.

“It’s a game of passing and serving,” he said. “Those are your first touches on the ball. We didn’t pass well enough and we certainly didn’t serve well enough.

“When you start playing tight your feet stop moving and you stop communicating. That’s kind of what happened to us. Brebeuf was much better than we were today.”

DeBellis was pleased with the intensity, aggressiveness and “seamless” coverage shown by the Braves.

“Our serves were basically what won the game,” she said.

Many of those service aces and kills were provided by Grade 10 players Sarah Elchuk and Rachel Battaglia. In the second set, for example, Elchuk was at the line for 12 consecutive points as the Braves built a 15-3 lead.

“We scored so many points off serves,” Garvey said. “I think the main thing for us, though, was communication. We trusted each other when we’d call for the ball.”

Garvey was a member of Brebeuf’s HWCAA championship team of 2018.

Source: Marnie Jadon

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