Google Translate Limitations Disclaimer
The electronic translation service on the Toronto District School Board website is hosted by Google Translate, a third party service. The TDSB does not guarantee or warrant the reliability, accuracy or completeness of any translated information.
The quality of the translation will vary in some of the languages offered by Google. Google Translate is a free service and currently offers translation in over 100 languages, but does not capture all languages or dialects.
The basic translation goal is to capture the general intention of the original English material. Before you act on translated information, we encourage you to confirm any facts that are important to you or may affect any decisions you make.
The Toronto District School Board is committed to equity and community engagement, and by providing this tool, we are making our information more accessible to families whose first language is not English.
“When our coach told us to play like you want to win, it was like playing with fire in our bellies” Aislynn Grant, volleyball player, Humberside Collegiate
By David Grossman
They gathered, standing in a circle on the gym floor, listening and somewhat attentive to words filled with recognition and tribute from their head coach.
Some of the members of the Humberside Collegiate girls’ volleyball squad were in a bevy of excitement. Others stood, eyes glazed, still in a state of disbelief at what had just happened.
Twelve ambitious players had made history for a school, established back in 1892, after winning the Toronto District School Board 3-A championship for the first time in the history of the academic institution.
To many of the players, the victory meant more than a trip to the Ontario playoffs – something they earned after a stunning three-game sweep.
With what some referred to as their best performance of the school year, the Huskies dismantled a Sir Oliver Mowat Collegiate squad winning 25-14, 25-14 and claimed a trophy symbolizing excellence, after a thrilling 27-25 third match victory. That last one, was tied nine times.
There’s a saying around Humberside – “felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas”. That’s the school motto in Latin, and is described as “happy is the person who has been able to learn the reasons of things”.
As for the volleyball team, those words sum it all up.
Prior to the gold medal game, there was quite a bit of chatter about the strength of an accomplished Mowat team, one that was out to defend the title and its league domination of the past few years. Mowat was also led by Kat Georgiadis, a Canadian Youth National team star, one of the top teenage players in the country and the backbone for many other top calibre athletes.
Humberside had memories. Just ask the players.
Looking back, it was Mowat that eliminated Humberside last year in the Toronto City-wide semifinals. Humberside wanted nothing more than to settle the score.
Having split games in a tournament earlier in the school year, the competitive fire, with many players in their graduating year, was at its extreme for both teams in this showdown - the finale of the Toronto District Secondary Schools Athletic Association season.
Humberside head coach Brian Singh watched his team combine power, precision play and a defensive gem. He only called one time-out – and that came late in the third match. After it was all over, Singh gathered his players on the gym floor at Centennial College.
“In the huddle, I told them to enjoy the moment, their performance was amazing and their constant hard work, two years in the making, was something special to cherish,” said Singh. “The girls served tough, got lots of free balls, controlled the play and the defense was superb. I never thought this would be a sweep, but more like a five-match battle.”
Mowat didn’t start out well and quickly fell behind in the first two matches with a series of mental team lapses. Poor communication among players led to mental miscues, as Humberside continued to expose weaknesses and pile up points. The third match was a barnburner with a skilled Gala Halilovic showing some brilliant defensive plays.
“This was a big prize for us,” said an elated Halilovic, the 17-year old Libero playing her last high school game in Toronto. “Everything went well, we were focussed and it all came together – our best volleyball of the season.”
Saying her nerves got to her the night before the final, Aislynn Grant, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, played with poise and confidence frequently displaying her gifted athleticism with power hitting and pin-point placement of the ball.
“When our coach told us to play like you want to win, it was like playing with fire in our bellies,” said Grant, who is planning to attend the University of Ottawa in the fall. “We had worked so hard and didn’t want to lose this one. We knew they would be tough, but I truly believe, based on how we played, that we wanted this win more.”
- END -
David Grossman is a veteran award-winning Journalist, Broadcaster with some of Canada’s major media, including the Toronto Star and SPORTSNET 590 THE FAN, and a Public Relations professional for 40+ years in Canadian sports and Government relations.
Thank you to all students and coaches for a great 2020 season! City Championships at Centennial College played host to some great match ups! Congratulations to our City Champions:
Junior: York Mills CI
Senior AA: Silverthorn CI
Senior AAA: Humberside CI
Good luck to Silverthorn and Humberside as they represent Toronto at OFSAA!
This year's City Championships took place on February 22nd at the Centennial College. Championships were held in the Junior, Senior AA, and Senior AAA divisions.
OFSAA volleyball will take place from March 9-11, 2020. For more event details visit the respective A, AA, and AAA OFSAA websites.