PILLEY’S ISLAND, NL — The Dorset Collegiate Huskies continued their table tennis dominance this past weekend in Avondale, wining the provincial team title for the fourth straight year.
The athletes from the Pilley’s Island school also claimed four of the five individual titles at the competition hosted by Roncalli Central High.
Four-time individual girls singles champion Brianna Warren was especially proud of their accomplishments.
“It is a good feeling, especially in my last year,” Warren said.
Warren, despite being a heavy favourite at this point in her high school table tennis career, says she still gets nervous for matches.
“Throughout the dayI start feeling pretty good about it, she said.
She did not lose a match en route to the individual singles title. The 17-year-old also teamed up with her sister Sarah to win the girls doubles crown. It was a repeat of that individual title for the sisters. Brianna has also won a girls doubles or mixed doubles individual title in each of the last four years.
Warren credits her coach, and father, Mark with the team’s continued success.
“If it wasn’t for our coach, I don’t think we would have done it,” she said.
The team went a perfect 20-0 to claim the provincial banner. They defeated Roncalli Central High and Heritage Collegiate of Lethbridge in the round robin portion. They downed Jane Collins Academy of Hare Bay in the semi-final match and then Jens Haven Academy of Nain for the championship.
Ty Winsor, a 16-year-old Grade 10 student, has been part of the Dorset Collegiate team since Grade 7. He said he didn’t play much in the first year the team won the provincial title, but has certainly become a leader since that time.
He said the victory was special because Dorset came into the competition with a target on them because of all their past success.
“It is just a great pleasure to compete against so many good athletes from across the province and to be able to come out on top,” Winsor said.
This year, he won the boys singles and mixed doubles — with Haley Elliott — individual titles. Last year, he won the singles and boys doubles individual titles.
Winsor said he had some close matches throughout the tournament, he was able to get some solid coaching and adjust to pull out his matches. He and his partner did lose some games, but no matches in the process.
With two more years of eligibility, Winsor hopes to continue the school’s run in the team competition and grab a few more individual titles along the way.
Coach Mark Warren says the student athletes at Dorset Collegiate practice during the year-round program they have in place, but also put in a lot of time on their own. With five of the 11 athletes in Grade 7 and 8, and only Brianna graduating, he is confident they will remain a force in the years to come.
Riley Vincent and Devin Roberts, the boys doubles team from Dorset, finished third. Josh Waterman and Cody Rogers of Jane Collins Academy took the title, while Darryl Gregorie and Kenneth Nui of Shehatshiu Innu School won silver.
Vincent received the sportsmanship award for the team.