The Niagara Knights women's (5-3, 4th OCAA West) and men's (4-4, 6th OCAA West) volleyball programs welcomed the Humber Hawks to town on Thursday evening as both Niagara College programs were looking for their fifth straight wins.
In the women's match, the Knights and the Hawks had an extremely back and forth first set, trading points on some impressive rallies that had the Knights crowd cheering in applause at their team's efforts defensively. At the end of the set, however, the Hawks would take the 25-22 win and move ahead with the one-set advantage.
Some unforced errors in the second set cost the Knights a 25-14 loss and put them on the brink of losing just their third match this season. Niagara fought hard in the third set and jumped out to an early lead, but a momentum shift in the middle of the set was enough to propel the Hawks forward and win them the set 25-22 once again. With the set win, the Hawks secured the 3-0 match victory and snapped the Knights win streak after four games.
On the men's side, the story of the game was very much the same as the women's match right before it. The Knights played a strong game offensively, staying neck-and-neck with the Hawks throughout most of the sets.
After dropping the first two sets 25-15 and 25-18, the Knights came out firing in the third set with their backs against the wall. The Knights at one point had a 15-13 lead in the third set, but momentum shifted as the Hawks went on an eight to one run and put themselves ahead 21-16. In the end, the Hawks would finish off the match, winning the third set by a score of 25-21 and taking home the 3-0 win.
In the women's match, Jordan Koslowski (Hamilton) led the Knights with eight kills while Zeniah Pinnock (Toronto) and Tamara Edwards (Vineland) had six and five kills respectively. On the defensive side, Kelsey Soules (Hamilton) was strong on the net all match long, ending the game with four blocks.
For the men, Micah Nieuwets (St. Catharines) and Elijah Bugiardini (Hamilton) had a strong game offensively, each recording seven kills. Jaydon Milne (Toronto) added six kills while Ben Fillmore (Port Dover) had 19 assists.
The Knights will try and shake off the losses when they travel to Windsor on Saturday to take on the St. Clair Saints. The games will take place at the St. Clair College Sportsplex at 2pm and 4pm.
In women's volleyball action, the Saints are enjoying an impressive 6-1 season that has them sitting in second place in the OCAA West. In the OCAA's most recent rankings, the Saints were ranked the second ranked team in the OCAA. Earlier this season, the Saints handed the Hawks their first loss of the season, which was also their first loss since the 2010-11 season.
For the men, the Saints are currently 2-5 and hold the eighth spot on the OCAA West. The Saints are 11-17 in sets so far this year and are averaging 7.71 kills per set.