The OCAA's No. 6 ranked Niagara Knights women's volleyball program (5-2, 4th OCAA West) will take on the No. 3 ranked Humber Hawks on Thursday evening in an attempt to continue their recent winning streak of four games. The Knights will be looking for revenge as the match will be a rematch of last year's OCAA Gold Medal match, where the Hawks defeated the Knights to win the Gold.
After an impressive 3-1 win over the Sheridan Bruins in their last match, the Knights were rewarded by moving up the rankings from number eight to number six. Their strong play of late will be important to take down one of the OCAA's top programs.
The Humber Hawks enter the match with a matching record of 5-2, sitting just ahead of the Knights in the standings in third place. That means a Knights win would propel them ahead of the Hawks in the standings, and most likely would give them a major promotion up the provincial rankings. The Hawks are ranked No. 12 in the CCAA national rankings as well, so the Knights could cement themselves as one of the country's top programs if they can pull off the victory.
The Hawks and the Knights have matched up 25 times in regular season play since 2004 and in that time the Knights have not had any success. The Hawks are an impressive 25-0 against the Knights, but this year's team will look to be the first to take them down.
Part of the reason the Knights have had trouble defeating the Hawks is because they have had a dynasty program over the past 15 years, winning 13 national championships in that time including 11 straight. That being said, the Hawks have already lost twice so far through seven matches this season and last time the Hawks lost an OCAA match before this year was in the 2010-11 season.
Jordan Koslowski (Hamilton) has been phenomenal once again this season, as she currently sits in third place in the OCAA with 4.3 points per set. She also averages 3.38 kills per set which is tied for third place in the OCAA with Mohawk's Jessica Heidbuurt.
The Knights will look to extend their winning streak to five games against the Hawks and inch their way closer to a new program record. Their longest win streak in program history came in the 2009-10 season when they won nine games in a row.
The Knights and the Hawks will begin their match at 6pm at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre on Thursday evening. The match will also be broadcast live at www.goknights.ca/watchlive.