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Golden Bears competitive at WOSSAA volleyball championships

St. Mike's and St. Marys junior girl's volleyball teams won bronze medals at their respective WOSSAA championships

Against some tough competition from London high schools at the WOSSAA 'AAA' volleyball championships, host Stratford District Golden Bears managed to finish the season on a strong note, albeit after a couple of losses at the Burnside Agriplex.

Saunders beat the Golden Bears in straight sets 25-23, 25-14, 25-15 in the bronze medal match on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Banting defeated the Golden Bears in their semifinal, 25-9, 25-8, 25-15. Banting went on to win the tournament, in five sets in the final over Lucas in the provincial qualifying tournament. 

"I am really proud of my girls because they worked really hard all season," Golden Bears coach Marcie Stears told StratfordToday. "What I love most about this team is how positive they are, there is great camaraderie, everyone was able to play today."

Stears said the team was missing a few key players for the WOSSAA tournament. The Golden Bears finished 8-1 in the Huron-Perth regular season, defeating Goderich in three sets in the playoff semifinal, before a 28-26, 25-21, 25-18 loss to St. Mike's Warriors in the Huron Perth final. 

The coach said the team plays in exhibition tournaments throughout the season against bigger schools to get ready for the regional 'AAA' tournament. The Golden Bears are the only 'AAA' sized school in the Huron Perth conference, which has 10 high schools. 

Stears said about half of the senior team is back next year and she is looking forward to adding some talent from a very good junior team.

The Golden Bears junior volleyball team finished 9-0 in league play and defeated St. Marys in three sets to win the H-P playoff title. 

Also playing at WOSSAA, the junior Golden Bears faced a tough St. Thomas Aquinas team, who won in three sets, 25-14, 25-15, 25-18 in the semifinal. Lucas beat Stratford District in the bronze medal game, 25-18, 25-17, 25-18. St. Thomas Aquinas defeated fellow London side Laurier in three sets in the championship. 

Vivienne Kouwenberg (10) gets the ball over the net for the Golden Bears at the WOSSAA 'AAA' junior girl's championships. Also pictured are Abbie Straus (12) and Rylee Canning (11). Paul Cluff/StratfordToday

St. Mike's bronze medallists at 'AA' junior tournament 

At the WOSSAA 'AA' girl's volleyball tournament in Ingersoll, St. Mike's won the junior bronze medal after a 25-23, 25-23, 25-13 win over Oakridge. St. Thomas Parkside beat the Warriors in their semifinal, 25-12, 25-10, 25-13. Parkside won junior gold over St. Joseph's, from St. Thomas. 

On the senior side, Parkside defeated St. Mike's 25-12, 25-10, 25-13 in their opening semifinal. Aylmer East Elgin defeated the Warriors 25-22, 25-23, 26-24 in the bronze medal match. London Oakridge beat Parkside in four sets in the senior final. 

At the WOSSAA 'A' junior girls volleyball tournament in London, St. Marys won the bronze medal in four sets over London's Holy Cross Catholic.