The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
By JOSH THOMAS Staff Writer The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for the Niagara Knights women’s volleyball team, but when the dust settled they improved to 5-0. It began with an emotional five set win against the Redeemer Royals of Ancaster in which the Knights trailed 13-11 in the fifth set before defeating the Royals 18-16. From there the Knights rode the high into back-to-back wins against the Cambrian Golden Shield and the Boreal Vipers of Sudbury, Ont., on Nov. 15 and Nov. 16. The Knights came out flat against Cambrian but were able to battle back and win the first set 31-29. The Knights took care of business after that first shaky set, winning in straight sets. “We didn’t have the energy and the drive in the first set, and I thought they did,” said Head Coach Joey Martins, of Niagara’s slow start. “They played like they wanted to win in that first set, and we were just kind of not all there, it made it tough. It was a struggle but we got the win. You have to go through those types of struggles together to grow as a whole team.” The coach wasn’t the only one who was unhappy with the slow start. Middle Devon Lowes said, “We didn’t play our best. We can’t expect to win. We have to come out with intensity and fight for every point.” The Knights experienced some of those same struggles the next night against Boreal, down 23-17 in the second set but, once again, rallied and went on to win the game in straight sets. “We’re trying to up the level of practices to mirror a game. We’re trying to get into higher intensity drills early in practice so we can mimic that in a game,” said Martins. Intensity was the word of the weekend as the players felt the same way as their coach did. Outside hitter Lucy McLay said, “We just need to come out loud and more intense right off the start. We need to come out right away and pass well and get a few kills and get that strong start.” Despite being 5-0, nobody on the Knights feels the team has reached its full potential. If their best volleyball is truly yet to come, the Knights could be a dangerous team going forward. The Knights will put their perfect 5-0 record on the line against the Conestoga Condors of Kitchener Waterloo tonight before going to Windsor to face the St. Clair Saints on Nov. 26 whom they beat three sets to one in the season opener.