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Mavs reap record medal haul
Updated On: May 8, 2017
Alex St-Denis. File photo


By Phi Trinh

It was a record medal haul for the Maverick Volleyball Club at May’s provincial championships as they collected a gold (18-and-under boys) and 3 silver (18U girls, and 14U & 15U boys) from their tournaments in Kitchener-Waterloo.

“It was definitely one of the best weekends we’ve ever had,” underlines Mavs 18U boys’ head coach Bruce Dunning, one of three Mavs groups to compete in top-tier finals on the Apr. 21-23 weekend.

The Mavs 18U boys earned a perfect record en route to gold, dropping only 3 sets in total over 7 matches. They were especially dominant on the final day, blasting York Region’s Storm 25-16, 25-11 in the quarters, Mississauga’s Pakmen 25-19, 25-21 in the semis, and Kitchener-Waterloo 25-14, 25-16 in the championship game.

“I’m not surprised that we won, but I’m surprised that we won as convincingly as we did,” signals Dunning, who had 5 of his 7 starters earn individual awards.

Alex St-Denis topped the list of honourees, earning the Ken Davies Memorial Award for the male player who best demonstrates determination, leadership, athletic ability, sportsmanship and fair play in all of Ontario.

“It’s really cool that I’m recognized for all the hard work in these years,” says the Grade 12 Louis-Riel high school student who’s after a Quebec university volleyball scholarship. Winning his final Ontario Championships tournament “was a really good experience for me,” adds St-Denis, “especially in my last year playing for the club before I go to college.”

It was the second Ontario crown for St-Denis and his mates – which includes younger brother Max St-Denis – and fourth consecutive provincial medal. In 2014, it was Frank St-Denis celebrating the gold with his boys as head coach.

This time it was Dunning’s turn as the head coach, with his son Jackson on the team. The elder St-Denis and Dunning are both high school teachers.

The St-Denis Louis-Riel trio and five Mavs players (plus assistant coach Thierry Lavigne) from Franco-Cité won respective OFSAA ‘A’ and ‘AA’ high school titles within minutes of one another earlier this season.

But the job isn’t quite done until the seek an unprecedented Ottawa trifecta come the May 11-14 18U boys’ National Championships in Saskatoon.

“We know the teams we’re gonna have to play with out there, they’re certainly excellent teams,” indicates Dunning, whose group has won back-to-back Canadian bronze medals. “We’ll have to play very well, but I think we have a shot at the national title.”

The Maverick 15U boys earned a repeat Ontario silver medal on the Apr. 7-9 weekend in K-W.

Like that 2016 provincial silver-medallist 15U team did last year as 14Us before winning the Eastern Canadian title at home, the Mavs 14U boys earned Ontario silver. They’ll compete at the May 4-7 Easterns at Carleton University and try to replicate their older counterparts’ feat.

Seeded just 9th, the Maverick 18U girls climbed all the way up to the silver medal position thanks to a quarter-final upset of #1 Pakmen from Mississauga and semi-final win over #4 London.

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