Having not lost a game this season, the Humber Hawks women’s volleyball team heads to the 2017 OCAA Championships after defeating the Redeemer Royals 3-0 on home territory on Thursday night.
Rising star of the team, Breanna Golding, had the final kill that brought the team to 25 points in the third set, a crucial game that clinched the Hawk’s sixth straight OCAA West Division title.
The spotless record of 15-0 this season has not come without struggles of finding chemistry and unity between the vets and the rookies, who make up about half of the team.
“We have a saying, six is one on the court,” Golding said.
A team therapist comes in every week to help with the mental aspect of the game.
“It was a weird divide in the beginning but I feel like we’ve done a really good job of gelling that together,” she said.
Elizabeth Deakin-Poot led the Hawks to a strong start. They took the early lead and dominated the first set thanks to Deakin-Poot’s five points, which included three kills and two aces.
The second set was a struggle as the teams battled it out point for point with the Hawks falling behind at times.
Head Coach Chris Wilkins weighed in on the Hawks’ lackluster performance in the second set.
“We allowed the Redeemers to capitalize on their strengths,” he said. “We didn’t put enough pressure on them, so I was a little disappointed”.
The Hawks won the set by a slim two points. Hawks all-star Devan O’Conner had the final kill, making the score 25-23.
The team dug deep and found their strength in the third set with a clear lead from the get go. Midway through the frame, the Redeemers threatened to close the gap, but the team finished strong with Breanna Golding getting the final kill to send the team to the OCAA Division Championships.
Coach Wilkins has larger goals in sight for his first-place team.
“Our expectation isn’t only to win OC’s but to win a national champion,” he said.
Wilkins’ only advice is for the girls is to have fun.
“Sometimes we get so caught up in being competitive that we forget that we’re all doing something that we love,” he said.
First-year Breanna Golding and fourth-year veteran Devan O’Conner, who are neck in neck for points this season, have figured out how to turn such rivalry into friendly competition.
Golding joked that they have mini games while competing against other teams.
“Competition is always healthy, that’s the number one rule here,” Golding said.
The Hawks are looking to stay undefeated when they take on the Fanshawe Falcons on Sat. Feb. 4.