Four Forest City Volleyball Club girl’s teams are pulling out the road maps to look for success.
The Under-15 through to the U18 squads of the local volleyball organization are all heading to different parts of the U.S., travelling to places like Chicago, Illinois to Birmingham, Alabama to help sharpen their skills.
“For sure we’re going to get our cardio up and just get more in shape,” said 15-year-old Michelle Chelladurai, heading to Kentucky for a tournament en route to Alabama for a week of practice and then to another competition in Ohio when returning home. “Hopefully we’ll improve for provincials and peak from there.”
With the Ontario championships coming up quickly at the end of April and only few tournaments left, now is the time for the team’s to hit new heights and the American’s are the perfect opponents to get them there.
The U.S. born athletes compete in bigger venues, they’re faster and their intensity is stronger – quite simply they’re better.
“It’s more of an experience,” said Lauren Sanderson with the U17 team in the Premiere division of the Ontario Volleyball Association. “It can be daunting, but there’s also an air of less pressure just because you’re in a place where you’re just a Canadian team and you get to play the sport for all it’s worth. You don’t have any rival teams, you don’t have any weird competition with teams that you know and always played. It’s just volleyball."
You would think getting beat, and maybe even badly sometimes, would be deflating when coming back home to compete for the province’s top prize, but the girls are looking at it as more as a tool of improvement.
"Last year we went to Michigan we didn’t do as well as we wanted but we`re looking it as more of a learning curve," said Jamie Leidl with the U18 team. "The practices that we had afterward were to build on what we can do better, so in a way the tournament was a little deflating, but it only made us better."
The Americans probably have an edge in skill and even the home court, but the Canadians might have an advantage of their own and that`s a seven hour road trip just to get to a tournament in Kentucky.
"It’s a good team bonding experience" Leidl said, "Travelling about six hours with her team for a tourney in Chicago. As cheesy as that sounds."