Blue Devils earn EOSSAA volleyball title
PDCI’s senior boys volleyball team earned the EOSSAA championship for AA schools at St. Mary Catholic High School in Brockville last week. Here team members Justin James, Eli Woods, Alex Fillipoff, Thomas Inwood and Cameron Ogilvie hoist coach Donna Rumball.
November 21, 2012
The Blue Devils from Perth and District Collegiate Institute are heading to Stratford this week to further their volleyball prowess as they take a crack on the court in the provincial championships this week.
It was an emotional win for coach Donna Rumball, who forfeited coaching retirement to see her oldest team members through the ranks.
“The guys had to put together everything we have worked on and play as a team to win, and they did,” she said after claiming the EOSSAA championship in Brockville last week over the host, and number one seed, St. Mary Catholic High School.
“I have to admit, I did have a wee tear.”
After earning an impressive EOSSAA championship, Rumball says she’s pretty excited to see this team perform at the provincials. This is her last year as a coach at the high school… for sure this time.
She says she’s “sure glad they did” when talking about her senior boys volleyball team and their parents, who coaxed her back to the court after her retirement a year ago last spring.
“I retired early from teaching June 2011,” she said. “I wanted to follow through for last year’s graduates, so I promised to coach just one more year – fall of 2011. After that season there were still five returning players on the team for two years and they – and their parents – convinced me to come back.”
The rookies are still hounding her to return, but “not a chance,” she says.
In the meantime, she’s gearing up for Thursday, when the Blue Devils take to the road for a three-day performance at the Stratford Agriplex with round-robin play getting underway on Thursday at 9 a.m. They are seeded 12th in Ontario.
“I thought we would be seeded a little higher but 12th out of 20 in the province is still decent,” she said. “Seeding province-wide is a difficult task. (It) doesn't really matter in the end; you still have to ‘show up’ for every match.”
At EOSSAA, they were seeded third. After dropping one match and winning the next, the Blue Devils placed second in their pool. They then faced the defending champions, Loyalist, in the semi finals and pummeled them 25-14 and 25- 22.
The finals matched the team against St. Mary – the team they lost to in pool play.
The Blue Devils came out strong, fought hard, and most of all, played as a team, to win the EOSSAA championships in two straight, 25-22 and 25-21.
Her hopes at OFSAA?
“Win or lose, play their best, play like they can,” she said.
Rumball has been coaching volleyball for 31 years. Now she has obtained her level one refereeing badge and intends to continue to further that aspect of her new game plan. After retirement, she said she wanted to become fully certified to referee volleyball, supply teach and do some travelling.
She officiated at the club nationals last May and said she loved it.
“Now I would like to advance up the reffing ranks,” she said. “(I’ve) enrolled in the provincial (next level) upgrade program.”
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