December 2nd, 2019... WELLAND - The Niagara Knight men's volleyball team went 1-1 in their home-and- home series against Fanshawe College and St. Clair College this weekend.
Saturday afternoon's match-up against Fanshawe saw the Knights and Falcons battle a close set out infront of the blue and white's home crowd, with Niagara ultimately finishing it off with a 29-27 win to go up 1-0. The Knights would carry on to win set two 25-22 and eventually run away with the third and final set 25-15 to sweep the Falcons 3-0.
Former Falcon Samuel Otten (5th year, Toronto) played a big match for the Knights, totalling up 22 points from 16 kills, five service aces, and nine digs. Ashton Fehr (3rd year Leamington) also was big in the middle for the Knights getting 10 points in three sets.
"This was our most complete match in a few weeks," said head coach Tommy Sloan. "We stuck to our gameplan really well and we executed in serve receive at a very high level. Our focus this week was to improve our defensive range and I think we saw the first signs of progress in that area."
Hoping the momentum from Saturday's win would carry over into Sunday's afternoon match-up with St. Clair, the Knights came out strong in the first and second set to go up 2-0 (25-21,25-22) over the Saints.
Things went downhill for Niagara quick in the third set with the Saints at one point leading 17-7. St Clair seemed to have found their game, storming back to take set three 18-25 to force a fourth set. Hoping to get it done in the fourth, the Knights were overpowered by the Saints 25-20. Niagara never recovered, with St. Clair completing the come from behind sweep with a 15-13 win.
"Unfortunately today our errors got the best of us," said Sloan. "St. Clair is a strong blocking team and we weren't able to make enough adjustments to deal with it. I thought we serve received and defended well for the second match in a row, we just couldn't quite put it together for long enough stretches of the match. We're looking forward to the break and getting a couple guys healthy before the rematch in January."
This weekend marked the last weekend of varsity play with the Knights now sitting at 6-3. Niagara will return to regular season action on the road Jan 16th, for a rematch with St. Clair.