Riding near the top of the TVRA East standings, the Glendale HS Gemini junior boys volleyball team met expectations in a South East playoff seeding tournament last Wednesday in Tillsonburg.
“I think that will put us up, but I'm not sure how the other teams fared,” said Gemini power hitter Trent Sinden after the Gemini (4-1), second only to undefeated Ingersoll DCI Blue Bombers (5-0), swept South Division's St. Thomas Central Elgin 3-0, edged Woodstock CI 2-1, and lost three sets to Ingersoll DCI.
At 5'9” Sinden gives up some height to opposing power hitters, Ingersoll in particular, but makes up for it with exceptional, if somewhat deceptive, vertical leap.
“I do find that it's my advantage because they don't expect those big hits from somebody my size. Definitely, my vertical is one of my strengths.”
As a team, Sinden rated it a good day for the Gemini.
“I think the team played pretty well. We did about the same as the last time we faced IDCI. In the other games I think we played really well.”
“We played IDCI once in the season, we lost,” said Gemini teammate Lamonte Luong.
On the plus side, everyone got floor time and gained experience.
“It was fun, a good experience,” said Luong. “We played good as a team and got a lot of blocks. Last time we played them (IDC) in league, no blocks at all. This game, pretty good blocks. Even though we lost the points, we improved a lot. And we made some nice hits too.”
“Against IDCI we definitely blocked a lot better,” Sinden agreed. “I think if we keep working on it, we'll be able to match up with them (IDCI) at least. First passes are definitely key against that team, they have some great serves.”
“Defensively, in our first few games we were getting most of them up to our setter... where we were supposed to be getting it to,” said libero Patrick MacDougall, a back-row defensive player. “This game (IDCI), not as good as our first two.
“Sometimes, depending on who their server is, you just pray it's not coming to you,” he laughed.
That's to be expected against a strong hitting/blocking team like the Bombers, but the Gemini wanted to see improvement – and did for the most part.
“When they're spiking,” said MacDougall, “it comes down off our block and we have to get underneath our blockers more and get it back up again instead of letting it fall to the floor.”
For some, the three-game seeding event translated into a tiring day.
“I was getting tired and it looked like everybody was sort of 'down' on themselves and getting tired (against IDCI),” said Sinden.
“Really tiring,” said Luong, who had a lot of floor time in the first two three-set series. “I really felt it in my legs today.”
“Doing all three of these games in one day, obviously it's a lot better than just doing a practice after school,” said MacDougall. “So this will help us in every aspect. And our coach can see what we need to work on as well.”