Men’s volleyball ends term with win over Toronto

Coming into Saturday’s match, the only thing standing between the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s volleyball team and going into the exam break above .500 was the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. These were the same Blues who last year ended the Hawks’ shot at the playoffs in the final game of the regular season.

However, this time around, the Hawks came out on top, pulling out a 3-2 come-from-behind win, sending them into the break with a record of 6-4.

“We kind of have mixed emotions because we did achieve our goal but we didn’t exactly play that well,” said Laurier head coach Shayne White. “But we were good when we had to be.”

The Hawks came out flat on Saturday night, dropping the first two sets by scores of 26-24 and 25-23. However, the young Laurier squad would rally and win the next three sets, each by seven point to take the match.

“We didn’t play that well in the first two sets but we changed some things around and I thought we showed a lot of grit and a lot of heart and in sets three, four and five we played really well,” said White. “[The slow start] might’ve been something that we needed to have happen to show that determination on a day to day basis.”

The ability to come back and win three straight sets to take this match shows great maturity from this Hawks’ team that features six rookies and no fifth-years. According to White, the work of his younger players has been what has stood out the most during the first half of the season.

“Everybody’s had individual moments of greatness,” he said. “But we’ve been really happy and impressed with the work ethic that all of our young guys have shown so far.”

This inexperienced team will be hard pressed to continue the momentum of their current two-game winning streak as they return from the break with a very stiff test right off the bat.

The Hawks will open their second semester schedule by taking on the McMaster Marauders and the Guelph Gryphons, both of whom rank ahead of the fifth-place purple and gold in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) standings. The Marauders are also ranked tenth in the nation.

“Hopefully we’ll come back healthy and determined,” said White of continuing the Hawks’ current winning streak. “But A lot’s going to be determined by what the players do here in the weight room during the month of December, during exams.”