The Niagara Knights men's volleyball program (3-3, 5th OCAA West) will look to continue their recent success when they travel to take on the Sheridan Bruins on Sunday.
Since beginning their season 0-3, the Knights have put together a nice three-match winning streak that has seen them skyrocket up the OCAA West standings and earn themselves a place in the OCAA rankings. In the most recent rankings, the Knights were named the #9 team, the first time that they have been ranked so far this season.
The Sheridan Bruins come into the matchup with a record that nearly mirrors the Knights'. The Bruins also possess a 3-3 record. Both teams have not only the same record but are both even in the number of sets they've won and lost. The Knights are 12-12 so far this year in sets played while the Bruins are 10-10.
This will be an extremely important victory for either team as a win will propel them over the other in the standings. Not only do the two upcoming opponents own the same record but two other teams, the Mohawk Mountaineers and the Redeemer Royals, also have a 3-3 record.
The Knights have yet to find a win on the road so far this season as their three-game winning streak has come entirely at home in the Welland Gymnasium. They will look to end that streak against a Bruins team that has is just 1-2 at home.
Looking back at the team's history against one another, the Knights have the advantage, having a record of 21-12 against Sheridan since 1994. To find the last time the Knights beat the Bruins at Sheridan College, you don't have to look very far. The last time these two teams met, in the second matchup of the regular season a year ago, Niagara took the match three sets to one.
With a seven-block performance in their last matchup against Redeemer, which was a new personal record for the fourth-year middle blocker, Tristan Swinden's (Whitby) season total has risen to 12. He now sits tied with former Knight Jeff Scott for fifth place all time in career blocks in the Knights record books with 79 blocks.
Ben Fillmore (Port Dover) has been excellent setting up the Knights attackers for kills this season, as his season total is up to 164 assists. Through six matches, the fifth-year setter is averaging 6.83 assists per set, good enough for 11th in all of the OCAA.
The Knights matchup with the Sheridan Bruins is an afternoon tilt beginning at 3pm. The game will be played at Sheridan College but will be broadcast live here.