Team Shows Grit Despite Loss in Girls' Volleyball

Catholic Team Shows Grit Despite Loss in Hamilton Junior Girls' All-Star Volleyball Match
Posted on 04/14/2024

By Larry Moko

The annual Hamilton high school junior girls’ all-star volleyball game made a favourable impression on St. Thomas More Knights coach Jacob Stampone.

“It was an awesome experience,” Stampone said of his debut appearance guiding the Catholic squad at Mohawk College Wednesday. “The atmosphere was electric. It reminded me a lot of the championship game we played at More.”

That title match was the 2024 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic final in which his first-place Knights edged the second-place Bishop Ryan Celtics, 3-2.

After taking the first set over the Hamilton Public squad, 25-17, the Catholic side dropped the next three – 25-23, 25-18, 25-19.
“We put up a good fight,” Stampone said.

On paper, it appeared Catholic might be at a disadvantage because its roster included six Grade 9 players compared to one for the opposition.

“I think every girl on this team plays club, though, so they have experience already. I was fully prepared for this type of game. Even with our STM team we had eight Grade 9s.”

The Catholic roster was comprised of the following players: More’s Mia Caterini, Presley Fortune and Natalie Hansen; Bishop Ryan’s Marissa Letnik, Natalea Maida and Sienna Marlow; Bishop Tonnos’ Estelle Buist and Alyssa Cerovac; ACMT’s Chloe Lessard; Cathedral’s Deobrah Olatunji; Brébeuf’s Avery Cryer; St. Mary’s Julia Don; Newman’s Sarah Benson and Addison McPherson.

Camille Carrothers of the Westdale Warriors was the MVP selection for Public while left side Cerovac was the Catholic recipient.

“Alyssa was amazing,” Stampone said. “I knew from the first practice she was going to be a standout in this game.

“She’s very tall already but jumps super high to hammer the ball. She’s got a very good all-around game as well. She can pass, set and swing really hard.”

Cerovac, a Grade 10 student, already has two years of senior high school experience under her belt, helping Tonnos capture an OFSAA gold medal in 2023 and silver this past season.

 “This game is good exposure for the kids,” Stampone said. “It’s so beneficial for the players, especially if they want to go on and play post-secondary.”

Photos by Bob Butrym, RFB Sport Photography

More photos on the HWCDSB Athletics Facebook page here