The Niagara Knights volleyball programs travelled to Hamilton this past weekend to take on the Mohawk Mountaineers. First, it was Niagara's women's program (1-2, 6th OCAA West) against Mohawk's women's program (2-2, 5th OCAA West).
The Knights, who were coming off of an impressive victory over the Conestoga Condors, dropped all three sets to the Mountaineers in this matchup (25-17, 25-19, 25-15).
"We played well in several parts of each set today, however we couldn't string enough points together in a row," said Knights head coach Natasha Spaling. "Mohawk had a few great service runs and did a great job on defence today."
After the women's matchup, the Knights' men's program (0-3, 9th OCAA West) and the Mountaineers' men's program (3-1, 3rd OCAA West) battled it out.
After an extremely close back-and-forth first set that saw Mohawk take the 25-23 set win, Mohawk took the second set as well, this time 25-19. Looking to avoid being swept, the Knights remained focused and were able to overcome their tough opponents in the third set 25-22.
The do-or-die fourth set for the Knights was once again close, as both teams seemed to be very evenly matched. Just like the first set, the Mountaineers were able to win the race to 25 points as they took down the Knights 25-23, earning themselves the 3-1 victory.
For the Knights, second-year outside-hitter Jaydon Milne (Toronto) led the team with 11 kills, which resulted in 11 of his 12 points. Setter Ben Fillmore (Port Dover) had 28 assists in the loss.
"We made some familiar errors in the first two sets," said Knights head coach Tommy Sloan. "We missed way too many serves and we made too many hitting errors in situations where we should have been better. I thought our third set was our most complete set of the season so far. We stayed aggressive throughout the entire set and made some key plays late in the set to seal it."
Sloan believes that his team has been consistently improving over the first few matches of the season.
"We are still looking for that killer instinct within the group but at the same time I feel that there are definitely things to build off of from this match. Tristan Swinden (Whitby) had his best match of the season and defensively, we're consistently improving. We're looking forward to getting our offence going again next week."
The Knights will prepare for their next matchup against the Cambrian Golden Shield this upcoming Saturday, November 10th in what is the first of back-to-back home games. The women are set to play at 6pm while the men will begin at 8pm at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre.