Team Blue, led by Mike Dulmage and Aidan Atkinson won the 3rd Annual Niagara Region Boys’ Volleyball Showcase Thursday night (Dec. 8). The match went the distance with Team Blue grabbing a 3-2 (20-25, 25-14, 25-19, 21-25, 15-13) victory over Team White.
However, the match was about more than the final score. The game featured some of the Niagara Region’s best and brightest young volleyball players. The third edition of the game featured 31 student-athletes representing 14 local high schools, who showcased the talent level that exists in the Niagara Region’s boys’ volleyball ranks ranging from Grimsby to Port Colborne.
On the scoresheet Team Blue was led by Stephan Legagneur (Jean Vanier) and Sauli Lianga (EL Crossley), who each put home 10 points. Both players had nine kills and a stuff block to their credit. Nate Czajkowski (AN Meyer) and Bailey Stewart (Thorold) were the pace setters for Team Blue, recording 22 and 17 assists respectively.
On the other side of the net, Team White received contributions from Kyle Thiessen (Smithville) with 10 points, by way of eight kills and two service aces, and Stephen Scott (Crossley) who had 10 points on six kills, three stuff blocks, and a service ace. The setting duties were split by Ethan Wilding (Stamford) with nine assists, Gavyn Pols (Heritage) with eight assists, and Zach Harrietha (DSBN Academy) and Jared Jackson (Smithville) with five each.
The event serves as one quarter of the Niagara College Knights’ showcase series started in June 2014. The Niagara Knights’ soccer programs, led by Welland native Frank DeChellis, has hosted three successful showcases of their own. The Knights women’s volleyball program hosted the girls’ volleyball event in 2015 and 2016 and the first ever Niagara Region Basketball Showcase will take place for the first time Dec. 20. The third annual Niagara Region Girls’ Volleyball Showcase is set for March 21.
The game MVP for Team Blue was Nate Cjazkowski. For Team White it was Alex Mrkalj (Sir Winston Churchill) taking home game MVP honours.