Tuesday March 20th saw the Niagara Knights host the 4th annual Niagara Region Girls Volleyball Showcase at the Welland Campus Atheltic Centre. The event saw 'Team Desjardins' defeat 'Team Edwards' four sets to none. The evening saw 24 student-athletes representing 12 local area high schools participate the annual showcase event.
"Tonight we really got to see how talented Niagara's high school volleyball players are" said Niagara Knights women's volleyball head coach Nathan Janzen. "The game was competitive and entertaining from start to finish, but more importantly tonight serves as a celebration of all of the hard work these student-athletes have given to their sport this season."
Eden High school standout Montana Taylor led Team Desjardins in scoring finishing with a team high 11 points on eight kills, two aces, and a block. The multi-talented grade 12 student also lined up at the setter position, contributing 10 assists. Taylor was named the Team Desjardins MVP for her performance.
On the other side of the net Laura Secord setter Kate Lafleur was named Team Edwards MVP finishing with a match high 13 assists. The youngster also added a solid three kills, four digs and an ace.
"The whole group play great tonight" continued Janzen. "It's so nice to see players showcasing a variety of skills in a game like this, and Kate and Montana really competed well."
Two-time showcase participant and 2017 MVP Sadie Dick (Governor Simcoe) led the match in scoring, finishing with 14 points on eight kills, four aces, and two blocks. The talented and athletic outside hitter showed why she has experience competing for both Team Ontario and Team Canada.
Also turning in strong performances for team Desjardins were Jenna Pollock (Sir Winston Churchill) and Kaelyn Emslie (Laura Secord) who finished with eight kills each. While Kate Fenwick (Governor Simcoe) recorded seven points. Gabrielle Lemay (Jean Vanier) and Emily White (Denis Morris) both notched a solid six kills each.
Turning in fantastic all-around game was Ashley Earle (Governor Simcoe) who finished with a team best 12 assists, while also notching five kills and three aces. Defensively Team Desjardins was paced by Centennial libero Maggie Dieter who finished with a match high 11 digs.
Team Edwards received solid contributions from towering AN Myer middle blocker Kathleen Longley who recorded five kills, two aces, and two blocks. Anna Di Bacco (Eden) finished with a team best eight digs, while also adding a kills, ace, and block. Thorold High School libero Alexa Villeneuve finished with seven digs.
The coaching staffs of both teams were comprised of former showcase participants who are now members of the Niagara Knights women's volleyball program.
Team Desjardins was led by Natasha Desjardins (Welland, Jean Vanier) and Nicole Chiesa (Thorold, Denis Morris) while Team Edwards coaches were Tamara Edwards (Vineland, Eden) and Nicole Pirillo (Thorold, Thorold Secondary).
Niagara College began hosting showcase events in June 2014 when Niagara Knights men's and women's soccer spearheaded concept with the Niagara Region Soccer Showcase. Volleyball and basketball followed suit in the ensuing years, and now a total of six events comprise the Knights' annual showcase series. The events are live broadcasted by students in Niagara College's award winning Broadcasting, Radio , Television, and Film program.
Montana Taylor, Setter, Eden
Ashley Earle, Setter, Governor Simcoe
Lauren Vahrmeyer, Outside Hitter, Eden
Kaelyn Emslie, Outside Hitter, Laura Secord
Sydney Porte, Outside Hitter/Setter, Lakeshore Catholic
Veja Lianga, Outside Hitter, EL Crossley
Jenna Pollock, Outside/Middle, Sir Winston Churchill
Mia Nicholson, Middle, Thorold
Mackenzie Kostyk, Middle, Jean Vanier
Kate Fewick, Outside Hitter, AN Myer
Emily White, Denis Morris
Gabriella Lemay , Outside Hitter, Jean Vanier
Maggie Dieter, Centennial
Kate Lafleur, Setter, Laura Secord
Grace Pollard, Setter, Lakeshore Catholic
Abby Julke, Setter, Stamford
Sadie Dick, Outside Hitter, Governor Simcoe
Anna Di Bacco, Outside Hitter, Eden
Emily McKnight, Outside Hitter, Lakeshore Catholic
Shaela Frado, Outside Hitter, EL Crossley
Jenny Connell, Outside Hitter/Setter, Sir Winston Churchill
Julia McPhail, Middle, Jean Vanier
Kathleen Longley, Middle, AN Myer
Maria Wilson, Middle, Stamford
Alexa Villeneuve, Libero, Thorold
Brenna Ferrara, Centennial