Erian Amor De Los Reyes
The stage was set last Thursday for first-year Clayton Blanchette to shine. The place: Humber Athletic Centre at North campus. The time: match point of a close game between the Humber Hawks men’s volleyball team and the Redeemer Royals.
Clayton Blanchette, a towering six-foot-six outside hitter, stood poised until he saw his moment to pounce. He whipped in a blinding strike past Redeemer’s helpless defense to secure the point and the game.
The men’s 3-0 win came after the Hawks women’s team crushed their Redeemer counterparts earlier that night.
Two for two: a clean sweep for Humber Volleyball.
The men’s game was a hard-fought and deserved victory for the Hawks, as both teams mirrored each other with fast strikes and tough digs.
Humber took the first set with a score of 25-14. First year outside hitter Nathan Murdock dominated throughout the first and made quick work of Redeemer with his powerful strikes.“The only way we can do is better—I’m really confident in the way we start games. It just feels right with these guys,” said Murdock about his teammates.
Murdock’s striking dominated the second set as well, but Redeemer was never far behind. Teammate Jordan Darlington, a fourth-year middle, said having a great team supporting him was the key to winning a tougher second.
Tied 19-19 in the second, Redeemer head coach Brad Douwes called a time-out to rally his team. But the Hawks prevailed 25-21 to double its advantage.
“It felt good. I have faith in my team and they came through for me,” said Darlington.
The Royals took an early lead in the third, but strike after strike from Murdock, Blanchette andScott Wilson, also an outside hitter, secured the deciding set 25-20 for the Hawks.
Redeemer coach Douwes said he would be talking to his team after suffering that devastating loss.
Hawks head coach Wayne Wilkins said his young team is getting better every day.
“They definitely have some tougher opponents on the way, so they’re going to have to step up their game,” said Wilkins.