Kyle Drinnan, Sports Reporter
Humber Hawks woman’s volleyball ended the regular season on a roll, beating Redeemer Royals 3-0 last Thursday and St. Clair Saints 3-1 on Sunday.
The team finished with 15-3 season and the two final wins allowed Humber to rise to a 15 national ranking spot. The Hawks are second in the West Division behind the 17-1 Fanshawe Falcons, but in the last 10 games, both are nine wins, one loss.
After four games on the road, the Hawks returned to Humber Feb. 13 to face the Royals. Both teams have been making pushes for the OCAA playoffs. This game was the second-last game for the Hawks and the last game of the season for the Royals.
Even if the Hawks were sitting nicely in second in the west, coach Chris Wilkins did not want to take his foot off the gas.
“We had four tough games away from home, we want to come back and bring out our best game,” he said.
The Royals have been a tough opponent in the past. In their previous game Dec. 6, they forced the Hawks to five sets before the Hawks finally defeated them.
Royals head coach Brad Douwes said he emphasized on keeping a cool mind while playing this game.
“This is our last game, I want them to go out and try their best, their game today will be about their thought process,” he said.
The Hawks and Royals exchanged points at the start of the game. When they were tied at eight, the Hawks started to break away from the Royals. The Hawks were 10 points ahead and were only a few points away from their first set.
However, the Royals wanted their claim to the throne. When they were down 10 points, the Royals finally got the upper hand in the first set as the score deficit narrowed from 10, to eight, to six before the Hawks regrouped to slowly but steadily reached 25 points to win the first set.
“There were some parts that we needed to iron out. They are a tough team and they showed why in important minutes,” Wilkins said.
The Hawks reset for the second set, but the Royals’ struggle to almost come back in the first set was a reminder they needed to finish the job.
Like the first set, the second started with the teams being neck-and-neck. However, the Hawks broke out earlier and maintained the pressure to finish the second set without much pressure from the Royals.
The Hawks dominated in the final set. Their spikes were tough to receive while they handled most shots the Royals took at them. Although the Hawks were up with 24 points, 15 points ahead, the Royals refused to accept the writing on the wall.
The Royals found a new fire to light them up and — as the Hawks failed to seize the last point — they were starting a comeback.
The Royals again closed the gap, 10, eight, five and the Hawks could not finish.
Finally, the Hawks keeping the ball out of their end caused the Royals to hit a ball out-of-bounds. The Hawks finally won 3-0, with scores of 25-21, 25-12, and 25-19.“They are a tough team. They just didn’t play well today,” Wilkins said.
Outside hitter Hayley Henderson won MVP of the Redeemer match.