Ross Royals out to defend senior boys’ volleyball title
GUELPH – It might have been just more than two years since the Ross Royals won the District 10 high school senior boys’ volleyball title to complete the 2019 season, but they are the defending champions and they hope to get a shot at keeping the league honours.
“I think it’s because they’re excited. We see it at practice, we see it at the games,” Ross coach Elliot Shrive said. “They’re here early setting up the nets. They take down the nets. As a coach, it’s myself and Mr. Burgess and Miss Rees, we’re very, very fortunate that the excitement is here. We have a really good character team and they’re taking it upon themselves to uphold kind of that privilege and as defending champions they want to prove that they’re still there and they’re doing it as a team. It’s fantastic.”
Like all the other seven teams in the local high school loop, the Royals returned to league play this week after missing the 2020 season that was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“It’s awesome,” Shrive said. “You can see all the players are just happy to be back on the court. It’s kind of nice. For practices we can keep it light, keep it fun, because we really realize how much of a privilege it is to be able to play sports again.”
However, teams can’t miss an entire season of play and practices without it having an effect on their performance.
“For us, in practices we do a lot of repetition,” Shrive said. “Because we’ve had such a big layoff it’s just getting our passing back and our hitting. It’s kind of going back to the fundamentals in order to get back up to that level. We try to go maybe four nights a week just to get those touches up so we can get back up to that level and that’s how we’ve been doing it.”
The Royals are counting on their senior seniors, the ones who would be in their third season in the league if not for the missing 2020 campaign.
“I’m fortunate that on our team we do have some guys that have played club,” Shrive said. “They’re the leaders on our team so some of the guys that have been off for a couple of years really look toward them for a little bit of leadership on and off the court. We’re very fortunate in our position to have a couple of guys that have taken on that leadership role. They’re Grade 12s and they are great teammates.”
Ross made it two wins in as many outings Thursday when they swept the Centre Wellington Falcons.
The Royals won 25-11, 25-12, 25-20.
Ross, Centennial Spartans and Guelph CVI Green Gaels are each at 2-0 while Centre Wellington and Bishop Macdonell Celtics are both at 1-1. Trailing at 0-2 are the Orangeville Bears, Lourdes Crusaders and St. James Lions.
Guelph CVI 3 Orangeville 0 (25-21, 26-24, 25-22)
Centennial 3 Lourdes 1 (25-10, 21-25, 25-16, 25-15)
Bishop Macdonell 3 St. James 2 (25-16, 25-19, 16-25, 18-25, 15-13)
Centennial and Ross are tied atop the league standings with 2-0 records. Following at 1-1 are Bishop Macdonell, Centre Wellington, Orangeville and Lourdes while Guelph CVI and St. James are both at 0-2.
Orangeville 3 Guelph CVI 1 (25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19)
Centennial 3 Lourdes 0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-22)
Bishop Macdonell 3 St. James 2 (26-24, 20-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-9)
Ross 3 Centre Wellington 0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-22)
- Guelph Sports Journal