The Niagara Knights men’s volleyball team put up a valiant effort against the Humber Hawks, however it was not to be on Nov. 19.
In a thrilling five-set game, the Hawks rose above the Knights to claim victory 3-2. Oddly enough Humber was outscored 103-96.
The first set was a back-and-forth affair with both teams exchanging point wins until Humber was able to pull ahead, and maintain a lead. Niagara was forced to use both of their timeouts during two big pushes from the Hawks, but had little effect on the outcome of the set. Humber took the first set 25-20, with their best display of offence right out of the gate.
The second set was slightly more turbulent for the Hawks. Consistent back-end digs by Michael Majcen, finely-placed settings from Simon Smyth and rugged spikes from Nathan Murdock and Scott Wilson were the difference.
Unfortunately the second set is when Niagara’s powerful opposite hitter Nathan Snippe started to heat up.
Niagara remained calm but emotionally charged as their backs were up against the wall quickly falling to a 2-0 deficit. The Hawks fell into a funk as they struggled to stay organized against the charging Knights. A few service errors and a little defensive miscommunication was all Niagara needed to get back into the game, winning the third set 25-16.
Humber had no answer for Niagara’s team play in fourth set as their struggles continued. Niagara’s Snippe led the way with 14 kills and nine digs after the fourth while Humber’s Scott Wilson was doing all he could to slow the Knights’ momentum with 10 kills and six digs.
It wasn’t enough as Niagara took the set 25-15.
The match was tied at two sets, forcing a final fifth set. It became a sprint to 15 points.
Much like the first set the teams traded points all the way until Humber hit eight, which prompted the teams to switched sides. Humber then swooped in for the kill putting away Niagara in the fifth set by a score of 15-13.
Humber improved their record to 4-and-2 with the victory over 2014’s OCAA champions, a win that means much more for the team morale than just two points in the standings.
They will look to use this important win as a confidence boost against the 2014 OCAA silver medal winning team, the St. Clair Saints, who are having a disappointing season at 2-and-4.