Halloween haul or Halloween hangover?

It’s possible the guys may have partied a little less after their game on Halloween. The men’s and women’s volleyball teams travelled to the bottom of Ontario to meet the Windsor Lancers Nov. 1. The men pulled out a close 3–2 (25–20, 26–28, 22–25, 25–23, 17–15) victory against a good Lancers squad, but the women were unable to overcome Windsor’s accurate and unrelenting offence, losing in straight sets (20–25, 22–25, 15–25).
Both teams had a rather scary Halloween, losing to the Western Mustangs in London. The men went down 2–3 (25–19, 22–25, 25–23, 36–38, 15–17) in an exhausting five set game, which was further extended by a ridiculous 36–38 fourth set. With the loss, the Warriors dropped to .500, and Western stretched their season-opening undefeated streak to four. The women were unable to overcome a Mustangs team playing at their absolute best, and lost 0–3 (19–25, 18–25, 19–25) to go into the second half of their back-to-back 1–3.

Saturday’s game had a much happier outcome for the men. They were forced to play five full sets once again, but scratched out a victory over a very close game. The Warriors shot far better percentages than Windsor in the first set and grabbed the lead. Windsor battled back in sets two and three, going on an offensive run to match the Warriors’ output in the former set, and shutting down the Warriors through strong defence in the latter. Windsor jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set, leading 14–7 at one point, and 20–15 at another.The Warriors made a couple runs while fifth-year middle Jordan Dyck and second-year middle Jordan McConkey served to catch up, and eventually sealed that set 25–23. The final set was close throughout, but was won by a combination of plays from Aidan Simone and Jordan Dyck.

The second-year outside Simone impressed greatly with his 16 kills, 10 digs, and two blocked shots, on top of excellent accuracy. The team’s attack was balanced, with Dyck, McConkey, and fourth-year outside Zachary Doherty each recording at least 13 kills. Simone, Dyck, and McConkey each had a pair of service aces, and Doherty, Simone, and fourth-year reigning libero of the year Erich Woolley had 10, 10, and 11 digs, respectively. Rookie setter Nikola Dimitrijevic continued his strong start to his varsity career with 54 assists.

The Warrior women had a similarly diverse attack and put on a display of team strength, but were plagued by errors that helped cost them the game. The Warriors came out of the gates running, taking a 3–0, and then 9–4 lead through strong defence and a string of three kills in a row from third-year left side Casey Clunas. Unfortunately, Windsor recovered after taking a time-out, and managed to tie the set at nine. The Warriors slowly fell behind on the way to losing that first set.

The second set started inauspiciously for the Warriors, with the Lancers taking a 7–1 lead at the outset. Waterloo was able to claw back through a steady service game and excellent defence, capitalizing on many Lancer errors to tie the set at 15 and subsequently take the lead. After taking that lead, the Warrior offence cooled off once more, and Windsor took the second set 25–22. The third set was a bleak affair outside of some success in the early-middle. The Warriors were undone by a large number of errors and a failure to convert on attacks. They lost that final set in a lopsided fashion: 25–15.

Fourth-year middle Natasha Spaling fired a couple service aces to go with a pair of blocks in the game. Third-year right side Shannon Lodoen impressed with seven kills, 10 digs, and a block. Clunas and rookie left side Sammie Gwozdz also helped lead the attack with seven kills apiece.

The Warriors of both teams undoubtedly hope for different results as they travel to Hamilton to take on the McMaster Marauders Nov. 7. It will be a difficult meeting for both men and women, as the Marauder men are 5–1 and women are 4–1. They’ll be joined by a bus full of Waterloo fans.