By Karine Gareau
FRIDAY, JAN. 24
The Thunder women’s volleyball team failed to keep their winning streak going after a 3-0 loss against Trent University on Jan. 24.
Algonquin came out strong and confident in the second set but were not capable of matching the intensity or the momentum brought early in the game by Trent University.
With great effort and defensive play in the second and third set, the Thunder came in the game fearing their opponent’s abilities.
“In the first set, we came full of jitters. In the second set, we pulled up our socks and played well and showed how we played volleyball, “said Paula Norton, setter.
With the all the star players on the court, the team played to their full potential but made several mistakes that may have cost them the game. Their lack of communication and their inconsistency to provide a strong attack led them to another frustrating loss.
“They are the number one team in the East division and we didn’t come in expecting to knock them off,’ said Head Coach Everton Senior. “We just need to keep ourselves going and minimize our mistakes. We missed a lot of serves and open looks on the attack today and at the end it cost us the game.”
A stronger attack was necessary to come out with a win but unfortunately, Trent saw their every move.
“We need to play a smart game and find a loophole in the opponents court instead of focusing on ourselves and display our own weaknesses,” said Alexindra Berkart, middle.
On the other hand, the team has come out with great satisfaction from this week’s performance. The coaching staff and most of the players are satisfied of their recent uprising and are looking forward to improving some more during the crossover games.
“We learnt from our losses and brought forward a new strategy. We need to come out louder and with more enthusiasm to come out successful but overall everyone is pretty happy about today’s game. We fought back,” said Norton.
“It’s our strongest week of the semester. Even if the score doesn’t show it, we played to our full potential,” said Burkart.
Algonquin had strong showing from Paula Norton who showed up to play volleyball and to gain a consistent position on the team. She provided her teammates with consistent and strong passes throughout the game and gave the motivation to keep them in the game.
“She didn’t play much but when she did, she played to her full capacity,” said Junior. “She impressed me tonight.”
The Thunder has a 6-7 record this season and is looking forward to keeping their momentum against Fleming College tomorrow. The team looks forward to playing their younger girls and pursue their efforts till the end of the season and to expand their knowledge in the cross-over games.
“Come mid-February, we play our best volleyball. We are looking forward to the crossover games and we will push ourselves to accomplish our goals by the end of the season,” said Norton.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 15
Despite a slow start over the weekend, the Thunder women’s volleyball team came back with force and determination to win their first home game of the year 3-2 against La Cité on Jan.15.
Thanks to Lauren Baerg and Devon Brown, the team stepped up to transform their soft attacks to stellar ball control to steal the win in five sets against La Cité. Contrary to their expectations, Algonquin were outplayed by their opponent and had trouble seizing what was supposed to be an easy win. Leading 2-1 after three sets, the Thunder stumbled in the fourth, allowing La Cité to rally back to an 8-2 lead.
The Thunder came back striking with force within 10 minutes. Jori Armishaw set the tone with an incredible spike on the opponent’s court followed by five successful serves by Devon Brown. For the first time of the night, the crowd was cheering loudly.
“Our team just got off a bad drift over the weekend, “said Brown.” Filling up the creases kept us going for the five sets even if we shouldn’t have
gone five sets against La Cite. But we had to make mistakes to come out successful.
“Unfortunately, the lack of communication and the inconsistency of their star players in the first three sets costhem. The team fell short and couldn’t capitalize despite an incredible comeback. They exhausted their resources, and were left to face a fifth set against La Cite after a 26-24 loss.
“They had to do some soul searching,” said assistant coach Ted Armishaw. “How the ball is played and how they play is inconsistent. We had to ensure they didn’t want to give up. We were given an opportunity to be successful and we had to take it. “
Fully aware of the impact of yet another loss with a disappointing 5-6 record in the regular season, it was a thought that the team couldn’t seem to bear.
Tension and pressure was felt in the Algonquin gym but the Thunder came out with more heart and discipline and showed their fans what they were capable of.
“We stayed level and we worked hard to control the ball when we could. We were just too tired to lose and we knew we could win this one, “said Baerg, libero.
Paying attention to details and staying alert paid off for the team, helping them improve their defensive play and get numerous key blocks to keep Algonquin in the game.
The team came together as a whole to face the adversity and to celebrate their first win of the season against the cross town rival.
“It was a team effort. We were able to play most of our athletes and they stepped up. We pulled through and put the tone for every play,” said Brown.
Although the coach isn’t quite content about where they stand in the division presently – fifth place – , he is satisfied with their latest performance and remains optimistic that the team will reach their full potential in the next few months.
The Algonquin Thunder women’s volleyball team played Fleming college on Jan.25, in what turned out to be a 3-0 shutout win for the team. Women continue their pursuit for the provincials this weekend as they take on the Seneca Sting.