November 18, 2019 ... WELLAND - The Niagara College women's volleyball team kept the home crowd on their toes in a five set battle against the Bruins (1-4) Friday night at home.
After dropping the first two sets (18-25, 22-25) to the Bruins, the Knights battled back in spectacular fashion to overcome the Bruins in the third to take a 25-15 win. The third set win proved to be the turning point for Niagara, who fought to a 26-24 win to force a fifth deciding set. The Knights took down the Bruins 15-13, to earn the match win, 3-2.
Natasha Desjardins (3rd year, Welland)had a big game for the Knights, smacking down 16 kills and 11 digs for 18 points in five sets, while rookie Kristen Oudman (1st year, Wainfleet) came up with 10 kills, 13 digs, and six service aces. Montanna Taylor (2nd year, St. Catharines) was also was a huge presence on the court, tallying 33 assists. Madelyn Berg (2nd year, St. Catharines) led the Knights in digs with 17.
Depsite the win, head coach Steve Dow says his team needs to come out of the gate quicker.
"Tonight was another example of a game where we didn't start on time," said Dow. "We made a lot of errors in the first two sets and that meant we were playing from behind for a majority of them. It's always tough to be constantly fighting back. We got out to a strong start in the third set on another strong serving run by Kristen Oudman. That run gave us the confidence we needed to push it to a five set win."
Overall, Dow was pleased with the way his team rallied to come back and take the win, a much needed win in the competitive Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) West division.
"I'm really happy with the girls resolve and resiliency the team showed throughout the match. Much like our match against mohawk last week we could've rolled over and lost in three but we got it to a fifth set. I think the experience from last week helped us turn a five set loss into a five set win. I also think the girls coming off the bench to the message better job this week. When they come in and do their jobs to a high-level, it gives our starters the confidence to continue to push. We leaned heavily on our third year RS Natasha Desjardins. She had a match high in kills and points. We will continue to look to improve this week as are home to the Redeemer Royals team who are currently riding a hot streak"
The win bumps the Knights to a 4-2 record with just three games remaining before the Christmas break. The Knights will travel to Redeemer (3-3) this Friday for a 6:00 P.M. game.