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Story by Chris Marchand
Dryden High School’s Eagles junior boys volleyball ended the season the best possible way late last week — by beating Kenora’s Beaver Brae Broncos in four sets to win NorWOSSA gold.
The young club won the opening two sets 25-17, 25-23, before Kenora would rally for a 19-25 set win. Dryden put an end to the match and the season with a final 25-18 set win. The Eagles finished the season 7-1, dropping just a single match to Fort Frances and posting a sets won/lost rate of 21-10.
Kenora, despite an 0-8 record were no pushover in the final, buoyed by gym full of boisterous Broncos’ fans.
“They really surprised us by how well they did,” said Brady Desserre. “We have a very different system than them and I think it showed on the court.”
Coach Steve Laidlaw says Kenora team showed they were tired of getting kicked around in the standings all year.
“Beaver Brae is a really scrappy team — they don’t give you anything,” he said. “They made us work hard for it. They beat Fort Frances this morning and put on a heck of a show doing it. A job well done for them.”
Laidlaw says the junior squad played like seniors.
“Just the composure and the maturity of all the players on the team,” said Laidlaw. “It’s been fantastic. They work as such a cohesive unit. They know what they’re doing out there on the floor. They police themselves and you really can’t ask for more as a coach.”
DHS’ senior boys were also NorWOSSA gold medallists, beating Fort Frances three sets to two (25-15, 25-16, 22-25, 20-25, 15-9) in the final. The senior boys season continues this week as they host the NWOSSA Championship this Friday and Saturday in Dryden.