By Ali Amad
The Humber men’s volleyball team is still figuring things out before the OCAA Championships this weekend, hitting a few bumps on the road in its victory over the Algonquin Thunder last Sunday.
Head coach Wayne Wilkins said poise was the key to the Hawks’ 3-0 win that qualified them for provincials.
“They were nervous a little bit,” he said. “They didn’t know what to expect from Algonquin but they kept their composure.”
Wilkins was concerned with the inconsistency of the team’s overall performance, but saw the game as an opportunity to iron out some of the kinks ahead of the OCAA Championships. The Hawks built up big leads in each of the three sets but had issues finishing off the feisty Thunder.
“It’s just not a sign of a great team,” he said.
Third year outside, Alex Lewicki said “once you hit that 20-21 [point] mark you can sometimes let your foot off the gas and think ‘okay we’re going to win this one’ but you want to win it when they’re still at 13.”Algonquin Thunder coach Jay Mooney was disappointed with the loss but believes playing the Hawks’ experienced veterans showed his team what they were lacking.
“They just have a lot more polish to their game,” he said. “A lot of their guys have been here four, five years so they’ve just seen more balls.”
It’s that veteran edge that has made the Hawks such a daunting proposition for any team all year. Fifth year middle Matt Isaacs was adamant in setting an example for the younger rookies on what it takes to win.
“We wanted to get our rookies in and give them a chance to feel that pressure,” Isaacs said. “I think they did awesome, they helped us close out the match. “In my five years, we’ve always made it to OC’s [OCAA Championships] and I think that push of almost not making it gave us that extra drive,” he said.
Star left hitter Terrel Bramwell was solid in the first and had two big plays to clinch the deciding 25-to-20 set, but it was the performance of Isaacs that was the revelation.Isaacs is in his final year with the Hawks and wants to make sure he does his part to take the team as far as possible.
“We worked hard and left it all on the court and I feel like that’s all I’m going to do at OCs,” he said. “Just leave it all out there.”