The Nipissing Lakers men’s volleyball team did not take the easy road to victory but in the end showed their resiliency and flexibility as they battled from a two set deficit to claim the 3-2 victory over the host Limoilou Titans in the championship final at the tournament held in Quebec City.
"It was a great start to the second half of the season,” said head coach Eric Yung.
“We accomplished our goal for the weekend by winning a championship."
Throughout the three day tournament Yung utilized his young players as several key starters are recovering from injury.
“Our whole group adjusted well to the line-up changes and played great out of their regular positions," said Yung.
"The two young setters continued to grow and gained valuable experience in managing a game. I am extremely proud of the character, as well as the mental and physical stamina my players demonstrated this weekend.”
In pool play the Lakers finished in first place by defeating Levis-Lauzon 3-0, Saint-Jean 3-1and Celtiques 3-1. The Lakers reached the finals by defeating Levis-Lauzon 3-1 in the quarters and Humber College 3-2 in the semi-finals.
Scott Coulthard and Andre Leblanc were named tournament All-Stars while fifth year middle player Adam Leblanc was named tournament MVP. Yung added it was nice to see the twins getting some recognition as they have been a pivotal part of the Lakers program for the past five years.
“Overall, it was a productive weekend for the program, solid all around effort by everyone," he said.
"However, the team understands that there is still a lot of work ahead of us to reach our full potential. We will have couple of days off before we prepare for a very tough weekend."
The Lakers face a pivotal road trip this weekend as they travel to steel town to face the Redeemer Royals (7-2) Friday and the Mohawk Mountaineers (5-4) Saturday.
Lakers' Women mine silver in Quebec
The Nipissing Lakers women’s volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision to FX Garneau in the finals of the Limoilou tournament to claim the silver medal.
“We knew the finals would be a good test to see where we stand against a perennial Quebec powerhouse,” said head coach Marc LaRochelle.
“I think the simple lesson we learned this past weekend is that communication, confidence and execution are key ingredients to our success. Now the challenge becomes to these consistently.”
The Lakers finished first in pool play by defeating Trois-Riviere 3-0, MSVU 3-1 before dropping a 3-2 decision to Outaouais. The Lakers then defeated MSVU in the quarter- finals 3-1 before sweeping UQTR 3-0 to reach the finals.
First year left side Christina Caruso and fourth year Libero Tressa Vancoillie were named tournament All-Stars.
“Overall we played a good tournament despite the long travel and the girls not feeling 100%," admitted Larochelle.
"I think we gained a better appreciation for defence and the goal is to bring that aspect to our game. We look forward to getting the second half of the season underway.”
The Lakers will be on the road this weekend for a pair of matches in the Hammer. The Lakers will face the Redeemer Royals Friday and the Mohawk Mountaineers Saturday.