The five-week faculty strike is over, and that’s no problem for the women’s volleyball team.
In its first game back after the labour action involving all professors, counselors and librarians, the team acted casually as they beat Niagara in straight sets Wednesday, Nov. 22.
Scores were 25-12, 25-13, and 25-23, halting the Knights’ win streak at two, boasting a 7-0 record to stay in the top spot in the West Division.
The first set was indicative of the Hawks, as they dominated with net play and service. The second and third sets were close early on, with the Knights managing to build an early lead in the final stanza before the Hawks came back and closed the show.
Humber sits first in the OCAA Western Division, while the Knights stand pat in third place, one game ahead of Cambrian Golden Shield and tied with the St. Clair Saints.
Hawks coach Chris Wilkins said the Knights’ place in the standings is a testament to the well-oiled machine they are.
“These girls are very well-coached,” said Wilkins after the game. “We played in our system, and in early on in the second and third we got away from it. But and we were able to execute on that to get us the win.”
He said they can’t take any liberties with the way the division is panning out even with a regular season streak that has stretched over 130 games.
“These are games we have to get up for. In our league this year, every team is really good,” said Wilkins, whose team gave him a nice birthday present with the three-set sweep.
Outside hitter Brianna Golding paced the Hawks with nine kills and 19 total attempts.
Middle blocker Nicole Collard, who had three kills and seven total attempts, is excited going forward with the strike now a thing of the past.
“We capitalized on practice and workouts more,” said Collard, who a first year General Arts and Sciences student. “If anything, the season was going to be postponed. So, I don’t think we ever worried.”
She said the challenge of playing the Knights got them up to rise to the occasion.
“This team, they’re really good,” Collard said. “They used their size to their advantage, which is rare in our league.”
Niagara outside hitter Zeniah Pinnock, held to just a point on one kill with four total attempts, says Humber will continue to be dangerous going forward.
“They’re strong, they’re athletic,” Pinnock said. “It’s always hard playing against them, but we know what to work on going forward.”
Next up for the Hawks is Cambrian, who is in fourth with a 3-3 record, on Dec. 2 at the Humber Athletics Centre.