By: Cassie Dresch
It was a night where the Boréal Vipères didn’t even need to show up.
The Algonquin Thunder men’s volleyball team held nothing back as they made mince meat of the Vipères, extending their winning streak to five straight games.
“There wasn’t a lot of resistance today, but it was out there,” said head coach Jay Mooney. “We steadied the course.”
They did more than steady the course. Boréal never stood a chance against the Algonquin offence.
The Thunder scored 11 points in the first set before the Vipères even got to sniff a point. Strong serving and multiple service aces from outside hitter Phil Yeldon proved too much to handle on Boréal’s end. It was almost routine for Yeldon as he watched each of his serves end in points for his side. The Thunder took the first set by a dominating score of 25-5.
The second set saw much of the same from Algonquin. A crushing offence racked up point after point for the Thunder as they took the set 25-4.
It was in the third set when the Thunder wobbled a bit, letting Boréal sneak in 11 points. The men rallied and still pulled off the victory by a 25-11 score, winning the match in a 3-0 sweep.
“We’ve been practicing really hard this week to get ready for this game,” said middle Rory McAlpine.
“We realized we only had two games left this semester – Boréal and Cambrian – and they both have 0-7 records,” co-captain Ian McAlpine said. “It was really about taking pride in our own match and playing point by point.
“We could win this game easily if we want to but we take more pride in crushing them, which is what we did.”
For the Thunder, there was a lot to be proud of. After a rocky start to the season, pieces started coming together.
Their serving got progressively better, their blocking proved a bright spot and their cohesiveness as a team shone through.
Mooney says they’ve worked on ownership in practice and it has proved beneficial.
“Guys are being accountable to one another and not just to the coaching staff,” he said. “They’re able to look at one another and demand more; at the same time they have somebody look at them and demand more and know that it’s ok.”
“The attitude in practice has changed a bit,” said Yeldon. “We’re much better at communicating with each other and it’s showing on the court.”
The game’s results were quickly forgotten, however, as the Thunder prepared for their game against the Cambrian Golden Shield the next night. Cambrian, who also has an 0-7 record, has the potential to surprise Algonquin.
“We just forget about this game and move on to the next one,” Yeldon said. “(We) completely wipe it out of our minds. Any team can beat anyone in this league so we definitely know that and can’t take it for granted.”