By: Cassie Dresch

Thunder left-side Phil Yeldon performs a spin serve.

All that shimmers is definitely not gold if the Algonquin Thunder has anything to say about it.

The Cambrian Golden Shield lost its lustre as the Thunder men’s volleyball team forged their way to a 3-0 victory in the last game of the semester on Dec. 1.

“It feels good that we did it in the way that we did it,” said co-captain Alex Oneid. “It’s a 3-0 weekend. We didn’t let any teams in and I thought it was a positive way to go into a little bit of a break.”

To say Algonquin dominated the match from the get-go would be an understatement.

Taking the first set 25-13, the Thunder played a testy set that saw a lot of jawing back-and-forth between both sides. Cambrian was no match.

Algonquin only got better as the game went on, leading by more than double for most of the second set.

Solid serving and impeccable blocking stymied the Golden Shield and the Thunder took the set 25-11.

It was in the third set where they acted on a principle they’ve been learning in practice.

“Something we’ve been talking about all year has been playing to win and not playing to not lose,” said co-captain and middle Ian McAlpine. “We had to go out and win the game instead of waiting for them to lose.”

The Thunder cracked the Golden Shield and took the third set 25-6.

The 3-0 sweep of Cambrian capped off a semester of volleyball focused on rebuilding.

“We have to go into second semester building up on what we did this semester,” said head coach Jay Mooney. “Our blocking was a big emphasis the last month and it’s showing signs of where we need to be.

“Our attack is stable and setters are starting to fall into the rhythm we’re trying to establish. We’re where we had hoped – no further, no less.”

The Thunder still have a ways to go before they can say they’re prepared to take on the big shots at provincials. As a young team, there is room to grow and learn the intricate details behind a championship team.

“I think because we’re a bit of a smaller team our defence has to continue to get a lot better,” said setter Jordan MacQuarrie. “We made some pretty big strides in the last couple weeks.

“I think if we continue to dig balls and serve really, really well like we have the last couple games I think we’ll be fine.”

There is a time and a place for looking forward to what the next semester brings. In this moment, relishing in the final victory of the semester is a positive note to end on.
“It feels great,” MacQuarrie said. “We had a bit of a rough start to the season. We remained pretty positive; we worked hard in practice. It feels nice to finish off our last five games pretty easily. It feels really good.”
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