NEW GLASGOW – Volleyball is getting a much-needed lift with the formation of the Pictou County Middle School Girls Volleyball League.
Girls in seven middle schools, as well as Grade 9 girls at North Nova Education Centre, are participating in the league that opened on Oct. 13 and will continue through Nov. 24.
Dr. W. A. MacLeod and New Glasgow Academy have two teams each, while West Pictou, Thorburn Consolidated, Trenton Middle School and North Nova have one team each.
Ian Turner, a long-time volleyball enthusiast from when he played with the former Westville High School Bobcats, is among those volunteering for the league. He’s also an assistant coach of the W.A. MacLeod Team II.
Turner said the league is designed to develop younger players in the middle schools, whose students eventually advance to North Nova and Northumberland Regional High School when they enter Grade 9.
NGA, Trenton and Thorburn send students to North Nova, while MacLeod and West Pictou students go to Northumberland.
“To have a strong presence in the province, we need a presence in the county to feed the high schools,” he said. “To get stronger, you need stronger competition. We’re building a bigger volleyball community. It creates excitement to have these teams playing each week.”
The teams play each Tuesday and Thursday and have tagged NGA as a place to play most Thursdays because its gym can accommodate two games at a time and the league can schedule two games at 3:30 p.m. and two more at 4:15 p.m. There are occasional games at 5 p.m.
There is also adult co-ed volleyball from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at North Nova.
The middle school district playoffs have been tentatively scheduled for Dec. 1 at NGA and will be played tournament style with two divisions.
The winner will advance to the regional championship that will follow.
Chloe Smith, 16, is about to strike the volleyball near two of her New Glasgow Academy teammates during the second week of the Pictou County Middle School Girls Volleyball League’s regular-season schedule. (Brimicombe photo)