Prasanah Jeyapalasingham spikes the ball past two Georgian Grizzlies on the way to a 3-1 win Friday night. Photo credit: Andrew Sorokan

The Algonquin Wolves men’s volleyball team ended its weekend 1-1 after beating the top-ranked team in the province.

The Wolves came out strong in the first set against first-place Georgian Grizzlies Friday night, with a 26-24 win to put them up 1-0.

The first set was tight, with the majority of it tied. Only two times in the first set did the Wolves trail.

The Wolves came out strong in the second set. They got out to a 17-10 point lead, and things looked promising. However, Georgian still had some fight in them. The Grizzlies went on a seven-point run and brought the set within two points.

After the seven-point run, Wolves coach Jelle Kooijman called a timeout and helped his team regroup.

“It’s a mental game at that point. Sometimes in volleyball, they do something really good a few times in a row, and they get points,” said Kooijman, when asked later what his message was during the timeout. “We earned that lead, so we had the luxury, and we had to stay calm and execute our game plan to get back in the game.”

The timeout helped the team as they were able to win the second set 25-23 without ever trailing and took the 2-0 lead.

The third set was all back and forth, with the lead changing multiple times. The Wolves kept it close, but the Grizzlies took the last three points to ensure a 25-22 win.

With the sets at 2-1, the Wolves needed to come out strong in the fourth set to ensure a win.

The Wolves took the early lead in the fourth and final set of the game. They went back and forth with the Grizzlies before they jumped up by seven points and didn’t look back on their way to a 25-17 win in set four and a 3-1 victory.

“We executed what we knew we can do, and that’s something we’ve been chasing all season, and we really rose to the challenge. We battled, we put in all the energy and the guys are pretty gassed,” said Kooijman.

“They are a good team. They are consistent and just played a good game. We really wanted to win that,” said Jacob Matheson, the Wolves’ setter.

“This shows we have the potential to be the best team in Ontario,” said Matheson.

The Wolves’ game on Saturday against the Canadore Panthers didn’t go as hoped.

The Panthers and Wolves went back and forth in the first set, but the Panthers narrowly edged the Wolves 26-24.

The second set went the Wolves’ way, with Algonquin taking a 25-20 win to even up the scoreboard at 1-1.

With the game tied, Algonquin pulled ahead for a convincing 11-point victory in set number three with a score of 25-14. However, Canadore bounced back in the next set with a seven-point win to push the game into a fifth and final set.

In the fifth set, Canadore managed to get the upper hand and win the set 15-10 and the game 3-2. The loss marked the end of the Wolves’ eight-game winning streak.

The Wolves are looking to start a new winning streak with their next game at the George Brown Huskies on Feb. 10.