By: Steven Chmielash
Endurance was tested by both volleyball teams versus Georgian College but only the men came out with the win on Feb. 9.
The women’s volleyball team came into the game already down three players as the night before, middle Alix Burkart rolled her ankle against Seneca and was unable to play. The team is hopeful she will not miss more than one or two games.
With only an eight player roster, head coach Everton Senior, had no substitutions to rely on. He depended heavily on his core players including Jori Armishaw, Breann Wheeler and Nicole O’Donoughue.
Armishaw, who finished the game with 18 kills and five serving aces, said “we went really hard. We were supposed to win today. Our players are just going to need to rest up and get ready for Wednesday at La Cité.”
Senior, on the other hand, didn’t want to discount Saturday night’s loss but said, “Yesterday was the match we needed to win and we did win that.”
Regardless of having a shortened bench, the women’s volleyball team never gave up. They lost their first set 25-21 but came back to win the second and third sets 28-26 and 25-22. They came up short in the fourth and fifth set 25-18 and 15-9.
“We just had an injury to one of our key players yesterday and we could have easily rolled over but we didn’t. We played tough and gave them a scare. I was glad to see that the girls didn’t just give in,” said Senior.
Afterwards, the men’s volleyball team took to the court later than usual as the women’s game ran longer than expected.
It took some time for the men’s team to get their legs going after losing the first set 26-24 against the Grizzlies. But it was all wins from that point on, winning the next three sets en route to a 3-1 victory.
The leading scorers of the night were Alex Oneid, left side, who finished with 16 kills and two serving aces and Philippe Yeldon, who had 14 kills and one serving ace.
Yeldon said after the game that the Grizzlies exposed the Thunder’s weaknesses. Had they won in three straight sets, it wouldn’t have been as apparent he said.
Head coach, Jay Mooney, said that it was a “tough match. I think we showed fatigue from yesterday’s five seter. But a good win. A win that we needed.”
“We got the win in the end so that’s all that really matters going into provincials next week but definitely some things to work on still,” said setter Jordan MacQuarrie.
With pivotal games against La Cité collégiale on Wednesday, Feb. 13, both Thunder volleyball coaches aren’t taking anything lightly. After the physically demanding games, both coaches said the key to success moving forward would be rest and recovery.