Warriors’ men’s volleyball continued their impressive run in 2014, dropping the lowly Nipissing Lakers 3–1 (25–10, 30–28, 22–25, 25–16) at the PAC on Saturday. They have extended their perfect streak in 2014 to four as the team moves to 11–3 overall.
The team showed off excellent unselfish play, with a wide distribution of attacks between players, and impressive assist totals of 22 and 16 for fifth-year setter Scott Thomson and first-year setter Gibson Graham respectively.
After a dominant opening set that the Warriors took 25–10, the game tightened up somewhat, with both teams trading points in the second set until the Warriors went up 2–0 for the game by pulling away 30-28. That, and the 22–25 third, set signalled a momentum shift in favour of the Lakers as Nipissing players Frankie Edgecombe and Cameron Branch fired off attack after attack.
Fortunately for them, the Warriors played very strong defence throughout the game, blocking 23 of Nipissing’s attacks. They were playing without OUA leading blocker middle Jordan Dyck, but 6’8” middle Tyler Motherwell, left side James Evans, and middle Jordan McConkey had six, five, and five blocks respectively.
Left side Aleks Poldma also had a great game, with five digs on the defensive end and seven kills for the night. Defensive specialist libero Erich Wooley popped up four digs himself. Aside from his defensive contributions, Evans also helped lead the team offensively with a strong 10 kills.
Behind the strong team play, sharing attitude, and consistent defensive work, the Warriors managed to take the final set 25–16. Of the Warriors last four wins, only one has been closer than a 3–1 victory: a close 3–2 victory against York.
Tied with the Western Mustangs for second place in the OUA, the Warriors look likely to continue their seven-year playoff streak as one of the most dominant teams in Ontario. They next face the first-place, 14–0 McMaster Marauders at 6 p.m. in the PAC gym on Friday, Jan. 24. At their last meeting, the Warriors lost an incredibly close game 2–3 to the Marauders late November in Hamilton.