Men’s volleyball stumbles out of the gate

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s volleyball team fell to 6-6 over the weekend after opening their second half with a pair of home losses. On Friday night the Hawks took the McMaster Marauders to five sets but fell 3-2, while on Saturday they were simply out-matched by the 9-3 Guelph Gryphons and lost in straight sets.

“Both games were just a matter of mental toughness on our side,” said Laurier head coach Shayne White. “I thought we should have won the Mac match, they were pretty beat up and I really thought we should have pulled that one out and then losing then one in that fashion clearly affected the way we played the next day [versus Guelph].”

That lack of consistency in the mental game is something that has plagued the Hawks throughout the season and according to White it can only be achieved through a willingness to work.

“They’re going to pay for it practice,” said the coach of the team’s lack of mental toughness. “We really need to work on consistency and that will come through professionalism in coming to the gym and having the desire to be great.”

The 6-6 record puts the Hawks in a tie with Waterloo for fifth in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) standings but White knows his team must start playing better if they are to keep their playoff position.

“Right now we’re just not playing that well,” he said. “We’ve put ourselves in a position where we probably won’t get much higher than fourth or fifth, but I think we should get into the playoffs and from there it’s just a once match deal.”

This weekend the Hawks receive what should be the perfect remedy to an 0-2 start to the semester, a match versus the winless Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins in Kingston on Friday night. However things get much tougher on Saturday as they take on the number-eight nationally ranked Queen’s Gaels.

“Hopefully we can be successful against RMC and right the ship a little bit,” said White. “Queen’s will be tough, with them being a nationally ranked team but we just need to get a win under our belts and start to move forward. If we’re .500 after this weekend we can start to look at different match-ups from there.”