Whitehorse Daily Star

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SHINY SILVERS – The SubZero 18U boys’ team poses for a pic with their silver medals at Volleyball Canada’s 2023 National Championships in Calgary on May 20. The boys went 2-1 on May 20 to strike silver at the tournament.

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SILVER SURFERS – SubZero 17U players pose for a pic at Volleyball Canada’s 2023 National Championships in Calgary on May 20. The boys went 2-1 in the playoffs to capture silver

SubZero 17U and 18U boys strike silver at Nationals

Subzero Volleyball Club’s 17U and 18U boys’ teams returned from Volleyball Canada’s 2023 National Championships with silver medals.

By Freelancer on June 5, 2023

Subzero Volleyball Club’s 17U and 18U boys’ teams returned from Volleyball Canada’s 2023 National Championships with silver medals.

The 17U and 18U boys’ Nationals took place May 18-20 in Calgary.

This group of athletes have been training together for the past two seasons, with some new players added this year for a roster of 24. In preparation for Nationals, the teams trained three times a week, including playing against a local men’s team.

Several players were in the Canadian-Filipino volleyball league this winter and many spent their lunch hours playing the sport they love. Nine of the athletes were members of the silver medal 2023 Arctic Winter Games team.

The 17U SubZero Ice Storm players are: Erwin Cachola, Jazzen Patterson, Jerry Wu, Josh Deguzman, Liam Milford, Malakai Alatini, Pier De Leon, Rodmar Castroverde, and Steven Domingo. 

“These athletes have grown as young adults over the season,” stated 17U assistant coach Jeffrey McLean.

In the final day of the tournament, the team handily beat Big Lakes Volleyball Club (Calgary) to move to the semi-finals.

In the semis, they fought through three sets against Leaside Thor (Toronto) to move on to the gold medal game. 

EVP Eagles (Oakville, ON) proved to be a difficult opponent, delivering strong serves, hits and blocks and the Yukoners played hard but couldn’t defeat them. The team was very excited with the second place result, coming home with some “jingle”, showing off their medals on the plane. A special shout out to Liam Milford, as the team’s most valuable player, and Rodmar Castroverde, the most improved player at Nationals.

“It was a pleasure to support the team alongside head coach Frank Oblak as we fought hard in our first and only out-of-territory tournament.” said Coach McLean.

The 2023 SubZero Volleyball Club 18U Black Ice team players were; Aaron Salas, Angelo Caringal, Ben Bonilla, Ethan Stoker, John Minguito, Krish Sharma, Kurt Rubio, Leian Evalarosa, Samuel Thorn, and Sebastian Tajonera.

Although six of the ten athletes on the 18U Black Ice Team are eligible to compete at the 17U age category, the team completed a successful 18U Nationals tournament by advancing to the final game in Division 2, Tier 4. The boys were up to the challenge of competing in Division 2 and compete they did!

On Day 2, the team was defeated in all three matches, going down to the wire in tie-breaking third sets, 13-15, 13-15, and 15-17.

Play-offs were on Day 3 and the team was able to go the full course, winning their quarter and semifinals.

After a close first set 23-25, Subzero lost the final to IVC (P.E.I.) two straight. Earning a silver medal matched a previous result from way back in 2019. To put things in perspective, Subzero teams have been competing at Nationals since 2005. Many teams have never come home with a medal, so for the boys, winning silver is something special, for sure.

Special shout-outs go to captain Sebastian Tajonera as the team’s most valuable player and 16-year-old Ethan Stoker, as the most improved player at Nationals.

Three of the team’s athletes, Angelo Caringal, Ethan Stoker, and Samuel Thorn were identified as prospects by head coaches of post-secondary teams. Sebastian Tajonera has an added accomplishment, having coached his Subzero 15U boys to a National’s silver medal the previous weekend. What a great finish after five seasons of dedication to the club!

Competing at Nationals is a very important part of development, both in terms of individual skill and team systems of play. Club teams from the North are challenged by a lack of out-of-territory tournament game play.

By Nationals, most of the other teams were competing in their fourth or fifth club tournament. The cost of competing out of Yukon was reduced considerably through the generosity of Yukon community members. The 17/18U players fund raised $10,978.31 through their Nationals Raffle and chocolate sales. Coach McLean also contributed over $1,700 in registration sponsorships through his ‘Polar Plunge’ fundraiser.

The teams would like to take this opportunity to thank all Yukon residents that supported their team, as well as the SubZero board of directors who have put in countless hours running the club, which has over 200 members, and had 11 teams travelling out-of-province this year.

– Submitted by Caroline Holway

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