Roberta Todd an all-star at national volleyball championships
By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Roberta Todd has been acing her serves and sets on the volleyball court this season.
The 15-year-old Winona resident and Ontario Volleyball Association club squad member recently earned all-star status for her moves on the court with the Burlington Defensa 15U team at the 15U Canadian West Open volleyball championships in Regina, Sask.
Defensa also garnered a bronze medal in division 1 tier 1 action at the national event.
“It felt really good to be named an all-star for the tournament,” Todd said, adding teammate Chloe Carenza also received the recognition. “It was really good to see all of the work that I put in this year pay off. Playing with the team and scoring the bronze medal was amazing.”
Defensa beat the Manitoba Cats 15U Gold squad 25-9 and 25-7 to win the bronze.
The team lost to the Halton Hurricanes 15U squad in the semifinals, after successfully spiking its way through the quarter-final and pool rounds.
Defensa made the trip to Regina, after competing in the provincial volleyball championships in April in Waterloo.
Todd said the team was “happy” to bring home the bronze.
“It was a very good accomplishment for us,” she said. “We played together and we had fun, rather than putting a lot of pressure and stress on ourselves. We just had a good time and went with it.”
In addition to making her debut at nationals, Todd played her first year at the high school level with the Cardinal Newman Cardinals senior girls volleyball team this season. She was one of two Grade 9s on the roster.
Todd had played at the elementary school level with Immaculate Heart of Mary since Grade 4.
“Going right to the top level was a big jump,” she said. “Knowing that I’d be playing against good competition was really exciting. And knowing that there also was a chance to advance to OFSAA was very exciting.”
The Cardinals senior girls volleyball team won the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association championship this season, defeating the St. Mary Crusaders 3-2 in the final earlier this year.
The team lost the first two sets of the game 27-25 and 25-20.
The Cardinals fought back, however, with 25-16 and 25-19 victories to tie the match. Then, in the deciding set, the team breezed to a 15-3 win.
The Cardinals went on to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations championships, but lost in the quarter-finals.
Todd said playing for the team was an amazing experience.
It was “a lot of fun,” she said.
“It also was great because I got the opportunity to play with my sister, Rachel, who’s in Grade 12,” Todd said. “It was really fun playing with her, being it’s the last time we’ll probably play together. She’s going to McGill University in the fall.”
Todd said playing for Defensa at nationals and with the Cardinals only reinforced her love of volleyball.
“I had a lot of fun playing with all my teammates this year,” she said. “It’s just made me enjoy the game even more. I just keep loving it more and more every time I play.”
Todd is now playing two-on-two beach volleyball with Defensa teammate Carenza.
The duo has already begun the outdoor season and will be participating in a number of tournaments this summer at Toronto’s Ashbridges Bay Park and in Cobourg.
Todd said she would like to play again for the Cardinals next year.
“I’m going to try out again for high school,” she said. “I don’t know if I’m going to play, though, because playing both indoor (with Defensa) and high school can be a lot. It’s a lot to juggle.”
Todd said either way, her days on the volleyball court are far from over.
“I’m going to keep playing for as long as I can,” she said. “Being able to play volleyball with my teammates and to improve my skills, as well as having goals of playing in university, that’s what drives me to keep going. My ultimate goal is to get a full-ride athletic scholarship to play for a school in the states.”