The St. Ignatius Falcons lost a heartbreaking five-game set in Wednesday’s consolation final at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association girls AA volleyball championship.
The Falcons, playing in their home gym, took a 2-1 lead on Sudbury’s Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School Knights, but couldn’t hang on, dropping the final two sets and settled for second in the consolation round.
It just wasn’t meant to be, said middle Jessica Korchak after the defeat.
“We played our best and we left our hearts on the court,” she said.
“We just deflated. We didn’t try. We gave up a little bit.”
The Falcons finished the tournament with a 3-4 record, completing round-robin play at 1-3 before knocking off Essex in four sets in the consolation quarterfinal on Tuesday and regional rival Dryden in four sets in the semifinal earlier in the day.
“We were playing against a very good team,” said St. Ignatius coach Bob O’Donohue. “They didn’t quit. They had a very good D and a good enough offence.”
St. Ignatius started slow, but pulled off a remarkable first-set comeback, rebounding from a 18-12 deficit to pull out a 25-21 win.
The Knights took control of the second set midway through, taking advantage of a poor service game by the Falcons to pull away and even the match with a 25-18 triumph.
The Falcons regained their composure in the third and never trailed once in the set, en route to a 25-14 win and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five match.
But the Sudbury squad scored five straight to go up 8-2 in the fourth, led 17-10 at one point and cruised to a six-point win to force a fifth and deciding set.
The carried their momentum from the fourth, pulling away early and put the match away with a 15-9 victory.
O’Donohue said it wasn’t the result they were looking for, but he’s satisfied with the way the Falcons played nonetheless.
“Absolutely,” he said.
“We’re very pleased with the result we had in the tournament. We just started a little bit weak.”
The veteran coach said it’s just too bad the season had to come to an end.
“I certainly will be telling them I wish e would have started the season right now because we learned so much in this tournament.”
Ecole Gisele-Lalonde, the three-time defending AA champions, lead the championship final two sets to none over Stratford.
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