By Josh Wegman
The Algonquin Thunder men’s volleyball team was able to climb back into second place in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association standings after defeating the George Brown Huskies in three straight sets on Nov. 16.
After trading point after point throughout the first set the Thunder came out on top 25-20, but the momentum really started to swing in Algonquin’s direction at the beginning of the second set.
The Thunder came up with three massive blocks to give them a comfortable lead from which they never looked back. They coasted their way through the rest of the second set winning it 25-13.
Algonquin’s height advantage became a real factor in their blocking dominance. Four of the Thunder’s starters stand at least 6’4” or over compared to George Brown’s squad who had zero players standing over 6’4”.
“We played a solid game,” said Thunder assistant coach Dwayne Blair. “We stuck to our aggressive game plan and our serving was very good to go along with some exceptional blocking.”
A very technically sound game by the Thunder saw them rarely giving away points via errant serves or missed shots.
“Even during our little slumps we were able to fight back,” said Blair. “The team worked together and communicated well.”
George Brown, who had been on a four-game winning streak heading in, seemed to break down at times during the second set, often complaining about the officiating.
After getting off to a hot start in the third set the Huskies bench was full of energy for the first time since the beginning of the match. All the support and cheering was only temporary though as the Thunder were able to erase a five point deficit and destroy any shot at a George Brown comeback.
“We out-dug them,” said fourth-year middle Ian McAlpine. “Our defensive play was good. We worked on it all week in practice and it really paid off.”
Through the first five games this season the Thunder, 4-1, have won in straight sets in three of those victories.
With a game in hand, Loyalist College sits atop the East Division standings with Algonquin, Durham and George Brown trailing by two points each.
The Thunder’s next four opponents have only five combined wins on the year. Even though the season is still very young, Algonquin looks set to make a run at their first championship since 2009.