The Thunder come together after a tough loss Feb. 16 against the Conestoga Condors. The team finished the season with a 12-7 record. Photo credit: Bradley Legault

With the stakes high and the pressure boiling, the Algonquin Thunder men’s volleyball team fell flat losing three sets to none against the Conestoga Condors on Feb. 16.

Coming into the playoffs with one of their most successful seasons in recent history, the Thunder were poised to continue that success.

Unfortunately, the Condors had other plans.

Coming into the matchup against the Thunder with a 10-8 record, very few expected the Condors to control the game the way they did.

Every time the Thunder got within striking distance, the Condors would respond with a quick three-point burst to restore the lead.

Coach Mohamed Shaheen expressed his disappointment in the results but has hopes for next year’s team.

“We can be very good or we can be very bad,” said Shaheen. “We will work around it. Most of these guys are coming next year. I hoped that they learned a lesson, every point counts, every game counts. We can fix it, and work on it from now until the next season.”

Most of the players will be returning to play again next year, including first-year player Richard Bucar.

“We got a good solid group of guys coming back next year. We got two veterans leaving us this year. We’re going to miss those guys. We just got to keep improving for next year and get better.”

The team as a whole were very disappointed in the outcome of the game, and you could see on many players faces the reality that their season came to an end.

Setter Jackie Nguyen knows his team could have played better, but is proud of the way they played this season and is looking forward to seeing what they can do next.

“We played great this year. Not one guy stuck in the same position. This team was really great to play with,” said Nguyen. “This was a win or go home, lose this game or play another three against the top eight teams in the province. We had the guys. It’s a tough loss.”

The men hope to have short term memory and move on from this loss to an otherwise great season.

Having their best record since the 2013-14 season — finishing the year 12-7 — the men hope to continue to improve this off-season, get back to the playoffs and come out with a better result next year.