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‘Seventh player’ key to men’s volleyball wins at home

Jonathan Frasco, Sports Reporter

The Humber Hawks men’s volleyball team knows the value of the “seventh player.”

The team returned to action after the holiday break in the second half the season and the players know the encouragement from the home court fans play an important role in keeping its win streak alive.

Third-year middle blocker Collin Skanes leaps in the air for a spike against the Conestoga Condors on Jan. 9, 2020. (Jonathan Frasco)

The team kicked off 2020 at home versus the Conestoga Condors and made it a point of pride to defend what they call “The Nest.”

Outside hitter Rrezart Sadiku said coach Wayne Wilkins constantly reminds the team fans that fill the bleachers are there to support them.

“We’re really grateful for the fan base here at Humber,” Sadiku said. That home crowd support must somehow factor into the team’s number 1 ranking in Canada.

The team understands winning is a part of the culture at the college and knows the Humber family is always backing them, so it’s important for them to play hard at home, he said.

For Eduardo Silva Ferreira, having the Humber family support means everything to him after he left his real family back home in Brazil.

“I am here by myself, I have no family here, so Humber’s family makes everything easier for me to play my best,” Ferreira said. “It makes me want to play hard for them.”

Humber Hawks’ from left Joshua Fadare, Collin Skanes and Eduardo Silva Ferreira go up in unison to block a spike by the Conestoga Condors at Humber College on Jan. 9, 2020. (Jonathan Frasco)

Over the season break, the team flew overseas to Amsterdam to test their skills against steeper competition and build stronger chemistry.

Wilkins was worried the break would take away the momentum the team had built.

“It wasn’t really the break we were worried about; it was the fact we went away, playing in Europe, playing in Amsterdam and all of a sudden we’re playing in Ontario and there’s a little bit of a letdown,” Wilkins said.

But despite returning home, Sadiku and Ferreira didn’t miss a beat as they dominated in their win over the Condors in three straight sets.

The team played strong from start to finish winning 25-15, 25-17 and 25-13.

The squad remains undefeated on the season after the win and with the next two games at home as well, defending the nest is going to be key to keep the win streak going.

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