By Laura Lennie, News Staff
For sisters Rachel and Roberta Todd, there’s nothing better than earning a victory on the volleyball court.
So when the Winona teens and Ontario Volleyball Association club team members picked up gold medals in provincial tournaments recently on the same day, they couldn’t have been happier.
Rachel, who plays for Eclipse West 17U of Etobicoke, scored gold at the 18U Girls Challenge Cup Jan. 19 at St. Christopher Catholic Secondary School in Sarnia.
Eclipse West beat tournament top-seeded Kitchener-Waterloo Predators Purple 18U 25-19 and 25-23 in the championship to earn its first gold medal of the season.
Eclipse West went undefeated in the tournament, beating Georgetown Impact 17U in the semifinals, Ms. Pakmen 17U of Brampton in the quarter-finals and placing first in pool action.
“It felt good to score gold at the tournament,” said Rachel, a 16-year-old Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School Grade 11 student. “We have some new girls on our team, so we’re kind of finding new team chemistry this year. The last couple of tournaments, we’ve finished second and third, so it was great finally winning the gold.”
Roberta, who plays with Defensa 14U of Burlington, earned gold at the 14U Girls Challenge Cup – Trillium C event Jan. 19 at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton.
Defensa defeated hosts Mountain Volleyball Club (MVC) 14U 25-6 and 25-23 in the final to score its first piece of hardware this season.
Defensa went undefeated in the tournament, beating Hamilton Smash 14U in the semifinals, Georgetown Impact 13U in the quarter-finals and placing first in pool play.
“It felt great to earn gold at the event,” said Roberta, a 13-year-old Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Elementary School Grade 8 student. “It was my first gold medal and our first medal as a team. That’s pretty awesome.”
For Rachel and Roberta, a love of volleyball runs in the family.
Two of their older cousins received scholarships to play the sport and study at schools in the U.S.
“I dabbled in other sports,” Rachel said. “I played basketball and soccer, but when I started playing volleyball I just fell in love with the sport and I’ve been rolling with it ever since.”
Roberta became involved in volleyball after Rachel took up the sport.
“She was having so much fun with it, so I just had to try it,” she laughed. “I’m so glad I did.”
Rachel began playing volleyball at the club level three years ago.
She hit the court with the Niagara Rapids and MVC before joining Eclipse West.
Rachel also has played for Cardinal Newman’s midget girls volleyball team and is the captain of the school’s senior girls team.
Roberta played for MVC for two years before joining Defensa.
She’s also hit the court for Immaculate Heart of Mary since Grade 4.
Rachel and Roberta said what they like most about volleyball is that it’s a team sport.
“I love that it’s all about coming together and working together as a team to win,” Rachel said.
Roberta added, “Volleyball’s definitely not an individual sport; it’s about contributing to a team effort.”
Rachel and Roberta said they would like to earn scholarships to play volleyball and study at schools in the U.S. or Canada one day.
“For now, hopefully, there will be more gold medals in the future and hopefully, we’ll both win at the provincial and national levels,” Rachel said. “The sky’s the limit.”