Humber Hawks volleyball squads enter playoffs with high expectations

by | Feb 23, 2018 | Sports, Varsity

Alex Krstonosic with a kill that just makes it over the net for a Hawks point during a game against Fanshawe. (Bobby Mihalik)

Bobby Mihalik
Sports Reporter

The Humber Hawks volleyball teams closed out their regular seasons and began the playoffs with a bang. They both have the OCAA championships in sight.

Defeating the Fanshawe Falcons at home in three sets last Wednesday, the women’s volleyball team completed its seventh straight undefeated regular season with an 18-0 record.

Team coach Chris Wilkins, while happy about the team’s milestone, knows the season isn’t over and is keeping his attention on the future.

“It’s an accomplishment we can be proud of,” Wilkins said of his team’s undefeated record.

“But, I think, like anything, it’s one of those things that’s sort of a stepping stone in what we’re trying to accomplish,” he said.

Hawks setter Alex Bartman, in her first year at Humber, is proud of her team’s achievement.

“The seven seasons, and being a part of this, is incredible,” Bartman said.

“To know that we haven’t been beaten by a team in seven years is a big piece of pride we can take home every night,” she said.

The women’s team hasn’t slowed at all entering the playoffs either.

They showed their might on
Saturday in an OCAA playoff crossover game against the La Cité Coyotes, defeating the Ottawa team in three lopsided sets and advancing to the championships.

The crossover game is a new change to the OCAA playoff format. Previously, the top finishing teams in each division were given byes into the championship.

“I really liked it in the way that it gave an opportunity for some of our new women to experience playoffs, and start to get ready for that,” Wilkins said.

While the women’s team capped off its undefeated season against Fanshawe on Wednesday, the men’s volleyball team faced heartbreak.

Losing to the undefeated Falcons in three straight sets, the men’s team saw their 14-game winning streak snapped on the final day of the regular season.

The loss was highlighted by an unbelievable second set. Going beyond the usual 25 points needed for victory, the teams fought relentlessly and pushed the set to a 41-39 score in Fanshawe’s favour.

“That’s definitely the longest one we’ve been in,” said head coach Wayne Wilkins about the marathon set.

Though the loss stung, he understands how good their opponent was, noting that the men’s team at Fanshawe recently became the number one ranked team in the country.

“The reality is, they’re an experienced group,” he said. “We’re a young group, and we’re learning.”

But the loss didn’t weigh the men’s team down during the weekend as it triumphed in their crossover playoff game against the Algonquin Thunder on Saturday, winning in three sets.

“For a crossover match, do-or-die, they stepped up,” Wayne said. “They played really well, and I think they’re ready.”

By winning the crossover playoff matches, both Hawks volleyball teams now enter the OCAA championships, beginning on Feb. 22.

“It’s exciting,” said Chris Wilkins. “We’ve had a good season to date right now, but now we’ve got to put in a little more work.”