By Larry Moko
The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic squad rallied from a two-set deficit to win the fifth-annual Battle of Hamilton senior high school boys’ all-star volleyball game Tuesday.
The HWCAA selects took the fifth and deciding set 15-7 at Ancaster High School.
Setter Lhex Rabit of the St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves appeared in the contest for a third straight year and was selected Most Valuable Player of Catholic for a second consecutive time.
“I thought it went really well,” Rabit said. “We just had fun.”
Public took the first two sets 25-19, 25-21. However, the visitors fought back to win the next two, 25-22, 25-20. In the fifth set, a service ace by Cristina Miersma of the Braves gave Catholic an 8-5 lead just before the teams switched ends. From that point on, Catholic was on a roll and couldn’t be stopped.
A block by Oliver Hunt of the Bishop Ryan Celtics capped the scoring.
“When we beat the lineup with Sam (Cooper) in it, it gave us confidence,” Rabit said. Cooper, a lanky and heavy-hitting member of the Hamilton District Christian Knights, also received MVP honours for this team for a second straight year.
The Catholic side was coached by Jeff Hargot of the league champion Brebeuf Braves and Julie Kersley of the Bishop Ryan Celtics (finalists). Other players on the Catholic roster were Seyar Ahmadi, Brebeuf; Aaron Guagliano, St. Thomas More; Gabe Anton, Cardinal Newman; Josh Pereira, Cathedral; Evan Winer, Bishop Ryan; Jacob Hudspeth, ACMT; John Stramega, Cardinal Newman; Josh Hagen, St. Mary; Nick Passaretti, Bishop Tonnos; Nicholas Levantis, Bishop Ryan; Jacques Audette, ACMT; Josh Silva, Brebeuf (injured).
Mark Vu, founder and organizer of the Battle of Hamilton, said the event is a highlight of the season for players.
“It’s becoming a popular thing to do,” Wu said. “The players look forward to it.”
Source: Marnie Jadon