CANNING, NS - It was a hard-fought battle, but the Northeast Kings Titans have won their way to regionals.
Three Kings County teams will be represented in the Nov. 18-19 competition – NKEC, the host team Central Kings and West Kings, which handily won a pre-regional tournament played at King’s-Edgehill School Nov. 7.
Although NKEC defeated CK in the final game of the pre-regionals, the Gators were guaranteed a spot at the competition due to their roles as host, sending the Titans off to Liverpool to compete for the final berth.
NKEC stepped up to the challenge, defeating the Liverpool Regional High School Warriors in two sets – 25-19 and 25-17 – to make their first trip to regionals in a few years.
“It was a long road, we qualified second at the pre-regional tournament, but due to the ranking system and the host, we had to come here (to Liverpool) and win it,” said Coach Geoff Daniels. “The girls definitely worked for it today, and I think we’re going to be ready to be competitive at regionals.”
For co-captains Emma Kean and Laura Forrestall, the victory felt sweet.
“I’m very happy – we’re working well together,” Forrestall said. “We’re super excited. We’re getting better as a team and the energy is starting to get up.”
Keeping that energy up, Kean added, will be the key to success.
“As long as we keep the energy high, we’ll do great,” she said.
The team has come a long way since September, where it started the season on a high note with two wins in its first game. Kean said the team has continued to work hard, while Forrestall said that they have gelled well to create a strong team.
“At the beginning, we were all different personalities playing together, but we’ve gotten so much closer as a team,” Forrestall said. “As long as we keep calm and keep controlled, we’ll be fine.”
Added Kean, “I think as long as we keep a positive attitude, we’ll be good.”
The Titans planned to spend the week in preparation for regionals, where Daniels says they will face some tough competition.
“West Kings is probably the best team in the province, so it will be tough for any team that’s going to play them,” Daniels said.
NKEC and CK have faced off several times during the season and Daniels feels confident the Titans will be competitive against them.
“I think we have a pretty good chance, we can fight hard, we’ve shown that against West Kings as well,” Forrestall said.
Their coach agrees.
“We’ll see CK in pool play, we’ll get another shot at them, and that’s really good,” Daniels said. “I’m pretty sure that with a little rest and some light practices, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with – we’ll definitely be a team nobody’s expecting to be good and I think we’ll be better than most of the teams there.”