- Created on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:35
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By JAMES HERBERT
The past week has not been kind to Niagara’s men’s volleyball team.
On Sunday, Humber College of Toronto, ranked second in Canada, visited Niagara College. Although they came close, the Knights could not beat the Humber Hawks, and were handed their second loss in a row, putting them at 11 wins, two losses so far, with just five games remaining in the season.
The Hawks used blocking to their advantage, with two of their blockers, Matt Isaacs and Andre Brown, scoring 18 points combined throughout the set of games.
Last Thursday the Knights, who were coming off their 11th straight win, a perfect season at the time, played Mohawk College of Hamilton for the second time this season. Things didn’t go their way, and although the Knights played hard and almost mounted a comeback, the Mohawk Hawks took the game three sets to two.
“Both games were won/lost in the middle of the court,” says Nathan Groenveld, the Knights’ head coach.
“As a group we will continue to improve the efficiency and volume of our middle attack, specifically from Logan Varga and Travis Waite.
“When we are winning matches those two are contributing big points for us. The last two matches we have gone away from them offensively, but both have contributed blocking and serving wise.”
“We are serving and passing really well right now, we just need to fine-tune our offensive game, especially to close out sets and matches.”
Although the losses could be disheartening, Groenveld says that winning every game was not the objective.
“Our goal has not been to have an undefeated regular season, from day one it has been to medal at both the provincial and national championships,” he says.
“As a result of this mindset we were able to take some lessons from the Mohawk, and subsequent Humber, losses and quickly move on. This team has been great all year win or lose of getting right back to work and the task at hand.”
Although the Knights did not win either of the games, they pushed each match to game five, an impressive feat. Their next game will be played at Fanshawe College of London, tomorrow. The Fanshawe Falcons are ranked ninth nationally, with eight wins and three losses.
“As far as Fanshawe is concerned the only adjustment will be more volume to our middles,” says Groenveld.
“We are serving and passing really well right now, we just need to fine tune our offensive game, especially to close out sets and matches.”
They follow up that game on Wednesday by hosting the Redeemer Royals, then three February games against St. Clair College of Windsor, Boreal College of Toronto and Cambrian College of Sudbury. So far, the Knights are still in the run to take home a championship.