Men’s volleyball ends losing streak

Things didn’t look good for the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ men’s volleyball team coming into their matches this weekend. Not only were they in the midst of a five-match losing streak, but they also had to take on the undefeated McMaster Marauders and another tough team in the Guelph Gryphons.

But the Hawks were given a lift by the return of injured veterans Cam Wheelan and John Wilson. They upset the Marauders on Saturday and then knocked off the Gryphons on Sunday.

“This was a big, big weekend for us,” said head coach Shayne White. “We got all of our starters healthy and everyone is finally in the position they’ll be in for the rest of the year. Having our full roster back was just a huge boost for our confidence.”

In Saturday’s game, the Hawks shocked the Marauders, who were ranked number one in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) rankings, taking the match 3-1 after dropping the first set. The win was the first for the purple and gold since their season opener against the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins on Oct. 24.

Full of momentum after knocking off the 7-0 Marauders, the Hawks dominated the Gryphons, taking the match in straight sets.

Wheelan and Wilson both played key roles in the pair of Hawks wins, racking up 22 and 17 kills respectively over the two matches.

“[Wheelan and Wilson] definitely bring a ton of experience as well as their athleticism,” said White. “Cam was a first-team OUA all-star last year, and John is huge on the block as well as the attack, so they both bring a lot of kills.”

Despite the early season struggles, White notes the importance of getting some younger players on the court early in the season.

“Not having some starters really toughened us up,” he said. “It gave a lot of first-years some valuable experience, and that’ll be important down the road.”

The Hawks now sit at 3-5 and look to extend their winning streak this weekend when they travel to Toronto to take on the Ryerson Rams and the York Lions.

“I think if we can build off these wins, we have a good chance at going 2-0 next weekend and getting to .500,” said White. “And that would be a huge accomplishment, knowing we were missing some of our starters for almost the whole semester.”