Golden Hawks volleyball misses playoffs

“It’s a compilation of anger, disappointment and embarrassment.”

That was how Shayne White, head coach of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s volleyball team, felt following his team’s disappointing end to the season.

Coming into their final three matches of the regular season, the Hawks were battling the University of Toronto Varsity Blues for the final spot in the post-season. Riding a two-match winning streak, the purple and gold needed at least two wins combined with at least two losses by the Blues, to claim the playoff berth.

While the Blues left the door wide open for the Hawks, going 1-2 in their final three matches, the inexperienced Laurier squad stumbled through their crucial three matches, losing to both the Windsor Lancers and Queen’s Gaels, only managing to defeat the Royal Military College Paladins, who ended up going 0-20 on the season.

“We are very disappointed with the way we finished the season,” said White. “Against Windsor, we just didn’t come out well either mentally or physically, and then mathematically, we were eliminated from the playoffs before the Queen’s match, so we played a really mixed line-up, and gave our first-years the majority of the playing time. We really didn’t care about the outcome of that match.”

Considering the fact that this team features no players older than third-year, some growing pains can be expected.

However, last year the team only boasted one fourth-year player and was largely made of second-years; and that Hawks’ squad made the playoffs, breaking a 10-year post-season drought for Laurier men’s volleyball.

According to White, 2009-10 was simply an off-year for the purple and gold.

“We saw some really good development last year, but this year I don’t think we showed much improvement technically [or] tactically; even our team cohesiveness wasn’t that good,” he said. “I’m not sure [what happened], this year was just a bad year.”

Looking to the future, White acknowledges that the Hawks have a long road ahead of them in order to get back to the playoffs.

“It’ll be a difficult transition [into next season],” he said. “We’ll see how things develop, but a number of things need to happen over the off-season. We’ll need some guys to improve and we’ll definitely need some recruits to come in and fill some holes that we have right now.”