July 2021 - In Memory of Tony Di Bacco

Tony began coaching volleyball at an Orillia highschool in 1984. In 2006, he joined the Orillia Suns organization where he spent the next 10 years helping to grow the Suns from a 1-team club to 7 teams across multiple age divisions. Tony’s passion for the game and commitment to youth development was integral in the launch of the increasingly popular spring and summer clinics.

After retiring from teaching, Tony moved to St. Catharines in 2017 where he continued to coach and officiate in the Niagara region. His now 30+ year commitment to volleyball includes many team successes and medals, and many former players continue at the post-secondary level and beyond. Tony is routinely praised for his knowledge of the game, officiating acumen, tireless recruitment and inspirational coaching.

Tony passed away in July 2021 and will be greatly missed.

He also leaves behind a huge void in the volleyball community. Di Bacco coached countless teams at ODCVI before joining the Orillia Suns program for high-level players who travel around the province to compete. He was also well known and widely respected as a volleyball referee. Kris Parnham served as an assistant coach with Di Bacco with various Orillia Suns teams. “Tony had a real passion for the game,” said Parnham, adding Di Bacco was intense, but respected the rules, worried about certain strategies and decisions and demanded fairness. He also ignited, in others, a passion for the sport. “Tony was simply the best developmental coach for young players because he infected them with his passion for the game,” said Parnham. That meant the kids he came into contact with were “all-in” on volleyball. “He made a huge impression,” said Parnham. “I can’t even imagine the number of people he touched through volleyball.” He was “into something” every season, explained Parnham, describing how his friend would pour his energy into a backyard rink in the winter or the apple orchard in the fall. “Tony always found something to pump life into it,” said Parnham, adding Di Bacco often handed out his home-made apple sauce to friends and those connected to his volleyball teams. And the family home where Tony and wife Sue were the heart, “was always bustling,” said Parnham. “There was always something going on ... and Tony was always in there mixing it up.” Di Bacco was “a prince of a guy,” said Parnham. “As a friend, he was a great listener and with a heart as big as his … there just aren’t enough people like that on the planet,” said Parnham. (Dawson, Dave. "Community mourns loss of Tony Di Bacco." Orillia Matters, July 22, 2021).

Tony pictured with his youngest daughter and teammates
Tony pictured with his youngest daughter and teammates during her first season playing rep volleyball.

Jan 24, 2021 - OVA recently sent out an update concerning the postponement of indoor competitions. To read the article, go to There are still many unknowns, but please know that we are watching and waiting too, and we will email (and post to our website) when we can return to practice and/or what next steps might be.

December 14, 2020 - The Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit has entered the Red Level in regard to the Covid 19 pandemic response. The main impact on our sport is the limit of people in each facility - we can now only have 10 people in the entire YMCA gym, 10 people per gym at the Rec Centre, and are not permitted to scrimmage. After discussion with most of the head coaches, the decision has been made to cancel all practices for the upcoming week to support the spirit of reduction in contact. Coaches will be figuring out position-specific and situation-specific practices that can be executed with 8 players and 2 coaches, with the plan to start these practices on Monday, January 4, 2021. In the event of a return to Orange Level, we will resume our original practice schedule if the facilities are still able to support us. ~Best Wishes for you and your families during the holiday season~

November 22, 2020 - There have been no separate requirements yet communicated by the Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit, and OVA has indicated that nothing changes for us until our region goes into the Red Level (track your region's status: Until we are told otherwise, Orillia SUNS will follow Ontario's Reopening Act 2020 - Section 8.

November 22, 2020 - Until we are told otherwise, Orillia SUNS will follow Ontario's Reopening Act 2020 - Section 8. For more information read our current COVID-19 protocol.

Summer 2020 - Parents are asked to review the OVA website, including their up-to-date and everchanging "Response to Coronavirus" page and their new "Return to Play" protocol.

June 17, 2020 - OVA announces postponement of indoor competition season until January 2021. What does that mean? Go to ova-june17-2020-postponement to learn more.

June 1, 2020  - Thank you for your quick response in completing the online address form! Refunds for the 2019-20 year have been issued... as that old saying goes, "The cheque is in the mail."

March 25, 2020 - Due to COVID-19, the 2019-20 season is effectively finished. Unfortunately, this includes no Spring clinic, practices, games, provincials or even our yearly banquet 🙁

Email from SUNS: "Hello All Orillia Suns - Yesterday, March 24, 2020, the Ontario Volleyball Association announced the sad but inevitable news that they are cancelling the 2020 Ontario Championships and the balance of the 2019-2020 season due to the Covid-19 crisis. The hopes of rescheduling in May proved unworkable, based on the current projections of the duration of the pandemic. It is unnecessary to contact HTG Hotel Booking Service, your reservations were cancelled yesterday. The OVA will be returning the tournament registration money that was not delivered upon due to cancellations. The Orillia Suns will notify you of our arrangements to reimburse these unspent funds to those that are owed. This brings a sudden end to a season that was full of bizarre and unprecedented challenges. I feel so bad for all of the players that will not get to finish their seasons. It is a particular disappointment for players in their final season with the Suns. If there was a way to deliver this we would, but as you know the entire sporting world is currently closed for business. We wish you and your families the best of health and prosperity in this difficult time. Go forward knowing that this too shall pass and we will support each other from a distance until we can join back together for our journey into the future. As previously mentioned, we will be in contact with everyone once we settle up with the OVA. Kris Parnham"

For more information from OVA, you can read

We look forward to seeing you all again soon.

May 2019

18Us WIN GOLD AT NATIONALS - In an amazing medal match, the 18Us came back to win GOLD at Volleyball Canada Nationals. This is on the heels of winning SILVER at Provincials just weeks before! Congratulations to the 18Us!


March 2019

17Us MENTOR 14Us - heading into the March Break, the U17s took time out of their busy schedule to mentor the younger team. Hard work and fun activities made for a great practice for the 14Us. Thank you to Jenn's 17Us!


November 2018

SUNS VISIT TRENT - some members of the 17U and 18U teams went for a practice and tour, and got to watch Trent play McMaster and Brock. A special thank you goes out to Trent Women's Volleyball, and Suns alumni Heidi Hayes!


October 26, 2018

FORMER SUNS PLAYER: Read about Domenica De Franceso in action with the Georgian Grizzlies


May 10, 2018

FORMER SUNS PLAYER: Read about Brittany Dunlop's recruitment by the Sheridan Bruins