David Pastor, Sports Reporter
The year was 2015. Drake released his fourth album, NBA star Steph Curry won his first M.V.P. award, and it was the year Humber men’s volleyball team last beat the Fanshawe Falcons.
Wayne Wilkins has coached the men’s volleyball team for a quarter of a century and has experienced the triumphs and struggles that have occurred over that time, including 10-straight losses to the reigning national champions.
“We got a great group of guys, great competitors,” Wilkins said before the Hawks-Falcons match Nov. 16 at North campus. “I think they’ll rise to the occasion tonight it’ll be a great opportunity for us to see if we’re ready to take it to the next level.”
And they did. The national second-ranked team Humber decisively defeated Fanshawe 3-0.
It’s been a long road since Feb. 14, 2015, when the Hawks came back to win three straight sets after losing the first two, winning the match 3-2.
Nearly five years later, Humber’s volleyball team finally ended their 10-game losing streak against the Falcons defeating Fanshawe in three straight sets, 25-18, 25-12 and 25-15.
The Hawks were dominated from the start shutting down the Falcons offence as Humber totalled 14 blocks over the three sets.
Humber was led by Jake Gomes, Humber’s setter in his third season with the Hawks, who totalled 28 assists in the match and four digs.
The Hawks men’s volleyball team continued its perfect start to the season as they improved to 4-0, defeating Niagara 3-1, Mohawk 3-0 and Sheridan 3-0.
“The team can compete with the some of the best teams out there,” he said. “What’s unique about this team is that from the first guy to the 16th guy they actually, genuinely care about each other, it’s a great group of guys and enjoy each other company.”
Wilkins believes the players on this team have a special bond with one another. It feels more like a brotherhood more so than a team, which he thinks is a factor in Humber being ranked so high among the college teams in the country.
Humber has won all but one set to start the 2019-20 season with help from Andrew Blakey, Humber’s middle blocker entering his fourth season with the Hawks.
He currently leads the team in hitting percentage with .512, along with 24 kills, which is fourth-best on the roster.
“It feels good, it’s good going out there and getting a win any day whether it’s against Fanshawe or not,” he said. “For the guys who have been around here for a while it’s a little bit more special but again it’s just another game and we got to keep it going.”
The Hawks are looking to improve to 5-0 for the second straight season as they face-off against Conestoga Condors, the first-place team in the West with a record of 6-1, on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m. in Kitchener.