Hosting the Sheridan Bruins on Thursday night, the Niagara Knights women's volleyball program (8-4, 4th OCAA West) stayed strong and fended off a Bruins' comeback attempt to pick up their third straight victory.
The first set of the night needed some extra time to finish as both teams traded points back and forth right until the end. With the score deadlocked at 25 each, the Knights were able to get two straight to win set number one. The Knights were able to take care of business in the second set as well, winning 25-22.
The Bruins would regather themselves, however, coming back strong in the third set, stunning the Knights by winning 25-18. The match would ultimately need a fifth set to decide it as Sheridan would prevail with their backs against the wall yet again winning the fourth set 25-23.
Even though the Knights dropped the fourth set, they nearly made a comeback at the end of the set that gave them some momentum. They were able to gather that momentum and carry it with them into the fifth set which was enough to propel them to a 15-11 win.
"This game was a really big win for our team," said Knights head coach Natasha Spaling. "This match showed the steps we have made as a team in our mental game just as much as our physical game and I was very impressed with out athletes ability to overcome adversity."
The win marked the Knights third straight and their seventh win in their last nine matches.
Melissa McFadden (Hannon) set up her teammates all match long, finishing the contest with 32 assists.
Defensively, Koslowski led the Knights with 14 digs while Libero Madelyn Berg (St. Catharines) has 12.
Spaling was impressed with the play of Olivia Burnie (Orillia), praising the first-year outside-hitter after the match.
"I would like to highlight Olivia Burnie who came in at critical times throughout the match and made a positive impact on the game."
Burnie finished the match with two kills and five digs.
The Knights will have a week off before they return to the court next Thursday night, January 24th against the Conestoga Condors (1-10, 9th OCAA West). This will be the Knights and Condors second matchup of the season, with the first matchup ending 3-2 in favour of the Knights back on October 25th.
The match will take place at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre and will begin at 6pm.