By Garry Kollins, Head of Student Life
Last week, UTS played host to our annual Senior Girls Volleyball tournament: the Downtown Winter Classic. The tournament was named by former UTS Athlete of the Year and current Western Mustang Katie McKenna ’14.
The Classic has brought some of the GTA's finest teams to UTS, and some thrilling matches have taken place inside the gyms of 371. In fact, the tournament has attracted many schools from across the province, as well. For example, for the past three years, the team from Ursuline College of Chatham, Ontario has made the trip downtown and has captured gold twice. Meanwhile, a group from Owen Sound District has attended for the past two years and they make the most of the trip to Toronto by taking in a musical or a play as well as attending the tournament.
This year we hosted nine teams, including Eastview Secondary School (Barrie, Ontario) and the reigning OFSSA AAA Champions, the Uxbridge Tigers.
Your UTS Blues have had some epic battles at the Classic! In 2014, McKenna led the Blues to a final tilt vs Pope John Paul II and captured the gold; and in 2016, UTS – led by the Class of 2016 trio of Kathy Wu, Isabel Maier and Helena Stahl – defeated a very good Agincourt Secondary in a nail-biter semi-final, only to lose in an incredibly well-played match vs York Mills Collegiate in a three-set final. The energy in the UTS gym was electric during those matches!
This year, your Blues took the Uxbridge Tigers to three sets in the semi-finals in another down-to-the-wire match that saw S5 (Grade 11) power hitters Nikky and Angela go head to head with the Tigers top provincial players, while S6 (Grade12) libero, Isabelle, passed really well, with M3 (Grade 9) setter Hannah running the offense to perfection. The Blues went on the capture the bronze in a three-set win over Humberside Collegiate. By the end of the day, Uxbridge nabbed the gold, and Eastview landed the silver.
The Downtown Winter Classic is becoming a February tradition at UTS. It usually falls during the week after Show and before league playoffs and OFSAA qualifiers. That makes it the perfect vehicle for the girls to get re-energized after their time and commitment in Show and they always look forward to the chance to play volleyball for an entire day in front of staff and students.
We’re proud that the Downtown Winter Classic is becoming a fixture on the Senior Girls high school volleyball schedule and continue to receive lots of compliments from attending coaches about the level of play and the intimacy and tradition of our school and gymnasiums!
Go Blues go!