Easing into their second half schedule, the Cambrian Golden Shield women’s volleyball team took advantage of a mid-week matchup with the winless Collège Boréal Vipères, starting January on the right foot with a straight set sweep of their crosstown rivals.
Posting set victories of 25-15, 25-12, 25-17, the Shield (7-4) moved up one notch in the standings, pulling even in third place in the OCAA West Division with the Niagara Knights (7-2).
Jillian Vallier paced the Cambrian attack with seven kills, with Kelsey Watson, Haley Conroy and Sara Charlton close behind with five, five and four respectively. Chanelle Martin topped the charts for the Vipères, recording four kills in three sets.
Despite breaking in a new setter and libero this year, the Cambrian women have, once again, claimed their traditional spot among the OCAA playoff hopefuls. “We came out pretty strong in the first half (of the season), beating teams that we struggled with last year,” suggested Vallier.“We want to keep up our momentum, and take even more games this semester.”
The Golden Shield took advantage of the mismatch on Wednesday to find court time for all eleven players that were dressed for the encounter.
Having some depth in the lineup will be key as the locals prepare for a run of games that includes opponents either just ahead, or just behind them in the standings. “Like when we go down to Ancaster to play Redeemer (5-6),” said Vallier.
“We battled with them last year; we battled with them this year. It’s important that we stick to our skills, and play our game.” One of a handful of solid additions to the program in 2014-2015, the graduate of Lasalle Secondary School is feeling even more at home in the collegiate varsity environment this year.
“I needed to get stronger, and better my approach, where I am when I am approaching the net,” noted Vallier. “That’s what I worked on all summer. I am stronger than I was, and I think I’m just a smarter player now.”
The Shield take to the road on January 22 and 23, facing Redeemer and Mohawk (2-7), before returning home to face the Sheridan Bruins (5-5) and Humber Hawks (9-0) on January 30 and 31.