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Bridgewater Chill win provincial title

The Bridgewater Chill are not only the provincial under-16 women's volleyball champions, they are the undefeated under-16 women's volleyball champions.

The team won all six games they played at the provincial championships, hosted April 12 to 13 at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax on the way to the title.

This was the second Tier 1 Volleyball Nova Scotia championship for the Bridgewater Chill team. Two years ago the same team won the under-14 Tier 1 provincials.

"The feeling was awesome because this was the first [under-16] tier 1 championship for our club," said head coach Derek Nowe. "Over the past 10 years we have lost either in the semifinals or finals and have come very close and lost some heartbreaking matches. But this year these girls came through."

The Chill defeated the Sydney Attackers, Bedford Blizzard, Truro Lynx, St. Mary's Huskies (Halifax) and the Yarmouth Fusion before facing off against the Sackville Sonics in the championship game, winning 25-12, 25-20.

"Our goal from Day 1 of the season was to win provincials," the coach said. "Based on the returning members to the team I think we were the early season favourites. Heading into provincials I knew that if we played our best volleyball we would win. I was hoping our worst game would still be better than our opponent's best game."

Last year, he added, this was not the case.The team played its worst volleyball of the season in the provincial finals.

In this year's tournament the team struggled at times, particularly with a shaky service game, but managed to play stellar defence and timely offence to win it all.

The tournament most valuable player was Micaela Sabean. She, Courtney Baker and Peyton DeWolfe were named tournament all-stars.

The championship capped a near perfect season for the Chill, who lost their lone match to the Truro Cougars at the Acadia Axe Tournament early in the season.

"After that we continued to work hard knowing that we had a team that could prevent us from reaching our goal," Mr. Nowe said. "The dedication and sacrifices that each team member made to play within our Chill organization this year deserves recognition. Practicing three or four times a week and attending tournaments weekend after weekend takes commitment. With this commitment we had nine skilled players with the size and ability to compete at an extraordinary level. The funniest thing of all is that we haven't seen them play to their fullest potential together as a team. It will be scary if they ever do."

He hopes that time will be this week. The Bridgewater Chill volleyball club team has entered the under-16 Canadian East Open scheduled for May 2 to 5 in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

If the team does peak at the right time, a high finish is possible, even against the tougher competition of Ontario and Quebec.

"Our primary goal was to win provincials and crack the top 10 at easterns," Mr. Nowe said.

- Adam Jacobs,

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