The Niagara Knights women's volleyball program split their tough weekend road trip with a 3-1 loss to the St. Clair Saints (11-4, 3rd OCAA West) and a 3-1 victory over the Fanshawe Falcons (12-2, 2nd OCAA West). The split puts the Knights at 8-6 on the season, dropping them to 6th place in the OCAA West Division.
The Knights opened their road trip Friday, January 26th traveling to Windsor to take on the hometown St. Clair Saints. The Knights struggled to find their rhythm in the opening set, losing 25-21. Niagara would fight back in the second, winning the set 25-15. Both west division rivals continued to exchange blows, but it was ultimately Niagara's inability to close that resulted in St. Clair taking the last two sets 25-21 and 25-23.
Pacing the Knights' offensive Friday night were veteran outside hitters Jordan Koslowski (Hamilton, Ont.) and Rachel Rivers (Cambridge, Ont.), who finished the match with 11 and 9 kills respectively. Leading the defense was 1st year libero Ainsleigh McInnes-Williams (Mount Hope, Ont.), who led her program with a game-high 17 digs.
Niagara would then travel to London Saturday to face off against the 2nd place Fanshawe Falcons. The Knights were entering Saturday afternoon's matchup on a season-high 4 game losing streak and were in dire need of a win.
The Knights would explode out of the gate, winning the first two sets 25-22 and 25-21. After dropping the 3rd set 17-25, Niagara would dig deep in the fourth, closing out the game with a 26-24 set victory.
"After having lost 4 games in a row, beating Fanshawe today was a huge victory," said Knights' head coach Nathan Janzen. "The key to the match was our defensive intensity, going toe-to-toe with arguably the best defensive team in the league."
Leading the Knights' offence was 1st year setter Melissa McFadden. The Hannon, Ontario native was a force in the passing game, contributing 29 assists to the winning cause. 1st year libero Ainsleigh McInnes-Williams (Mount Hope, Ontario) led the defensive effort with a game-high 16 digs.
The Knights are back in action next weekend when they host the visiting Boreal Vipers (0-14, 10th OCAA West) Friday, February 2nd and the Cambrian Golden Shield (5-9, 7th OCAA West) Saturday, February 3rd.