Thursday, February 22nd sees the Niagara Knights women's volleyball program (11-7, 6th OCAA West) begin their OCAA Championship journey with their quarter final matchup against the rival Fanshawe Falcons (14-4, 2nd OCAA West). The Knights and the Falcons split the 2017-18 regular season series with each program earning their victory on enemy turf. The Knights look to build on their bronze medal from last year's OCAA Championships, while the Falcons are determined to move from last season's first round exit to Durham.
The latest clash between the two OCAA West Division rivals ended in a disappointing 3-1 loss for the Knights, fueling the Niagara program to take their revenge on the big stage. Taking down a top tier Fanshawe program is just step one for the Knights, who are thinking of nothing but OCAA gold.
After leading their program to a successful regular season, the Knights will continue to lean on the strong play of outside hitters Rachel Rivers (Cambridge, Ont.) and Jordan Koslowski (Hamilton, Ont.). The duo's averages of 3.7 and 3.6 points per set ranks 5th and 6th highest in the OCAA. Their continued offensive contributions, along with their calming veteran presence in pressure situations, will be key factors if the Knights hope to battle for precious hardware.
If the Knights hope to find success heading into their quarter final against Fanshawe, they must find a way to shutdown the Falcon's outside hitter Meghan Morelli. The London, Ontario native is having an incredible year for Fanshawe averaging a whopping 3.45 kills per set. Keeping her off the scoresheet is crucial if the night hope to escape day one with a quarter final victory.
This year's 2018 OCAA Women's Volleyball Championship presented by belairdirect will operate from Thursday, February 22nd to Saturday, February 24th out of Centennial College's Progress Campus Athletic and Wellness Centre in Scarborough, Ontario. The winner of Fanshawe and Niagara's matchup will play the victor of Thursday's quarter final between Sheridan and Loyalist (3pm).
Tip off between the two OCAA West Division programs is scheduled for 1pm.