By Katherine Green
The Humber women’s volleyball team showed that the next generation of players will be just as strong as the veterans during their win over Conestoga last Sunday.
The bench showed its depth of talent when it unleashed massive aerial attacks that clipped the wings of the Condors.
While there was an Arctic storm outside, the Conestoga gymnasium was heating up as the Hawks extended their season’s undefeated streak to 16 straight games.
Humber already clinched the west division title after last week’s victory against St. Clair College. Head coach Chris Wilkins saw Sunday’s game in Kitchener as a chance to give some fresh faces more minutes on the court.
“I thought it was a good opportunity for me to give some girls some time that maybe hadn’t got some time in awhile,” Wilkins said. “So it was good to give them an opportunity.”
And the players did not disappoint.
Chief left-side hitter, Adela Xhameta, praised the performance of her fellow teammates. She said it came down to a strong week of practices where the team members really connected with each other.
The unseasoned players did face moments of solid opposition from the Condors. The host team gave Humber a run for its money with the Hawks only winning the sets 25-19, 25-22, and 25-21.
Throughout the third quarter the Condors narrowly held a three-point lead over Humber, but in the end could not finish what they started.
“Humber is Humber,” said Conestoga head coach Marek Gwozdz. “They have been defending Champions for many years so it is hard to play against a team like that. You have to be consistent throughout every part of the game.”
“You know you need to block well against Humber and you need to convert your points. If you don’t convert your points they will punish you,” he said.
And punish them the Hawks did.
Big hitters Adela Xhameta and Thalia Hanniman each showcased their power with the final kills to take the game points in all three sets.
The Conestoga matchup was proof that Wilkins has developed a more-than-solid roster, with a deep bench bolstered by crucial closers like veteran Hanniman.
Wilkins will wrap up their season by looking to the bench again for the upcoming last home game against Mohawk.
“We will probably mix it up again a little bit,” he said. “We have some nagging injuries so we will give some rest to the people that need to be rested.”
Wilkins said he will “make sure that everyone is ready to go for OCAA’s (provincial championships).”
“Make sure that we can get equal minutes for everyone so all will be ready for a couple weeks from now when it really matters,” he said