The Niagara Knights women's (5-4, 5th OCAA West) and men's (5-4, 6th OCAA West) volleyball programs travelled to Windsor this past Saturday to take on the St. Clair Saints in OCAA regular season action. Both Niagara programs were looking to rebound from a loss at home against Humber last Thursday night that ended their win streaks.
In the women's match, the Knights would try and stop a red-hot Saints program that has excelled so far this season. Coming into the match, the Saints had a record of 6-1, with their sole loss coming against the undefeated Fanshawe Falcons.
The Knights would jump out to an early lead against the OCAA's second ranked program, leading the first set 23-12 at one point. After winning set one 25-18, the Knights would keep their momentum going, winning the second set 25-20.
The Saints would bounce back, however, winning the next two sets 25-19 and 25-22 to force a final fifth set. The back and forth fifth set needed extra points to solve it, as the Saints would pull ahead at the end and steal the win from the Knights, winning the set 16-14 and earning the 3-2 victory. With the loss, the Knights dropped to 5-4 and the Saints improved to 7-1.
In the men's match, the first two sets played out very similarly to the women's match, as the Knights would jump out to a 2-0 leading winning the first two sets 25-22 and 25-20. In the third set, the Knights would rally to stay alive, squeaking out a 25-23 lead.
Niagara would stop the Saints in their tracks, however, not allowing them to carry their momentum and force a fifth set. The Knights would finish off the fourth set with a 25-16 win and earn the 3-1 victory. With the win, the Knights would get right back into the win column, improving their record to 5-4 while the Saints fell to 2-6.
Zeniah Pinnock (Toronto) had a strong match for the Knights, scoring 13 points on 12 kills and a block and adding 16 digs defensively. Jordan Koslowski (Hamilton) had 12 kills while Melissa McFadden (Hannon) had 38 assists.
Jaydon Milne (Toronto) had 20 points for the men which included 17 kills and three service aces. Micah Nieuwets (St. Catharines) had 13 kills while Elijah Bugiardini (Hamilton) added 10 kills. Setting up the Knights dominant attack was Ben Fillmore (Port Dover) who had 38 assists in the win.
The Knights have concluded the first half of their regular season and will have over a month off until their next OCAA action. They will return to the court for a weekend road trip to take on the Boreal Viperes and the Cambrian Golden Shield on January 12th and 13th.