By: Zack Noureddine
A disappointing loss to the Fleming Knights was how the men’s volleyball season started off followed by a victory against the Trent Excalibur the following day.
Their first match against the Fleming Knights Nov. 2 resulted in a tight 3-2 victory for the Knights.
The Thunder would make up for the loss, however, with a 3-1 final over the Trent Excalibur the next day, evening their record at 1-1.
Thunder co-captain Alex Oneid was very thoughtful in his feedback following the two-game performance to start off the year.
“It was a good experience seeing what OCAA had to offer,” said Oneid. “We came into the first game against Fleming a little too confident and ended up being surprised. We were really hot from the start but the opposing team eventually took the upper hand. We expected to come in there and just pound [Fleming] on the score board.”
With a new coach and only one returning player from last year, chemistry was a topic of adjustment for the men’s team. Reflection and assessment were essential as the team left the loss behind and headed to Trent University where they came away with a three set to one victory over the Excalibur.
“I think being fired up after the defeat the day before really motivated us as a team,” said Oneid. “We possess a respective style of play – we don’t let ourselves get too overwhelmed by the big picture.
“We beat a better team [in Trent], a way bigger team. They ran a better offense but were still able to handle them. I think smartening up after the loss to Fleming the day before was really what we needed.”
Oneid added he would love to see some fans come out to the team’s home games this year to give them some support.
“If we could feed off the chirping and call-outs from the opposing crowd in Trent and turn it in to positive energy, I could only imagine what we could do at home,” he said.
The 2011–2012 season saw the men’s team cap an impressive regular season record of 19-1 to claim the OCAA East title before suffering defeat at the hands of the Nippising Lakers in the semifinals.
Jeffrey ‘Jay’ Mooney had his debut appearance as coach for the Thunder men’s squad on Nov. 2.
“With only one player returning from last year’s team we will look to a couple key recruits on the left side for their veteran presence in helping establish a strong foundation for our young team,” said Mooney on the Thunder Athletics page.
Mooney brings 13 years of coaching experience to Algonquin College volleyball, having played for the Thunder men’s squad in addition to his studies at the college. With new staff on the sidelines, one returning player and a well-rounded roster, expectation and initiative to take gold at the provincials in March are still the mindset.
The men’s team will be back on the road for a trek to Seneca on Nov. 9 and Georgian on Nov. 10.
Visit the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association page at www.ocaa.com for scores, reviews and schedules.