It was a memorable day for Nipissing Volleyball Friday as both the men's and women's teams won their semi-final matches at their respective OCAA championships.
The Nipissing Lakers Women's squad earned a berth in the gold medal final at the 2013 OCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships at Trent University following a decisive three-set victory over the Redeemer Royals: 25-15, 25-18, 25-17.
Redeemer came out strong at the beginning of the first set jumping out to a 4-0 lead before Nipissing got their first stop. The Lakers stayed with it and worked hard to erase the slow start tying things up at 6-6. After evening things up, the Lakers pushed to a 11-7 lead going into a Redeemer timeout.
Coming out of the Royals timeout, Nipissing continued with strong defense and offense extending their lead to 17-9 forcing Redeemer to take their second timeout.
Following the timeout, Redeemer gave their best effort to stay in the set but could not stop Nipissing on their way to a 25-15 victory.
Jacquie Dyball (Pefferlaw, ON) led the attack for the Lakers picking up four kills and two blocks in the set.
The second set started with some tough serving from Nipissing’s Rebecca Ramsay (Madoc, ON) picking up an ace as the Lakers came out to a 3-0 lead. Both teams fought hard to gain the advantage through some long rallies displaying some great offensive and defensive skill.
The Lakers managed to gain the upper hand building a 9-3 lead early forcing the Royals to take a timeout.
Redeemer fought their way back into the set narrowing the gap to 14-11 at the midway point.
Nipissing responded well to the solid play from the Royals and opened their lead back up to 20-13 late in the set.
Redeemer did not give up as they pushed to get back into the set but the Lakers held them off and took it 25-18 and grabbed a 2-0 match lead.
Rebecca Ramsay provided some great offense for the Lakers with five kills, one ace and one block in the set.
The third set was more of the same from the Nipissing Lakers, displaying their consistent defensive and offensive skill. Redeemer gave their best effort to keep the set close but Nipissing ended up building a 15-8 leading going into Redeemer’s first timeout.
Following the timeout, Redeemer rallied, bringing the score within three points but the Lakers once again weathered the storm and took a 19-13 lead late in the set. The Lakers kept up the pace as they closed out the set at 25-17 and took the match 3-0.
Player of the Game for Nipissing was Jacquie Dyball picking up seven kills and three blocks in the match. Redeemer’s Player of the Game was Elise Kollenhoven (Acton, ON) with four kills and one ace on the night.
Nipissing’s opponents in the Gold Medal final Saturday at 4pm will be decided later Friday evening in the game between Humber and Fanshawe. Redeemer will have another shot on Saturday morning in the bronze semi-final match against the Cambrian Golden Shield.
Courtesy Sheridan Athletics
Red Hot Nipissing Beats Humber, Return to Title Game
It was just about exactly a year ago that the Nipissing Lakers were hosting the OCAA men's volleyball championship, only to drop a heart-breaking 3-0 decision to the Humber Hawks in the final.
In a different venue and with a spot in the title game on the line this time around, roles were reversed as the Lakers put pressure on the Hawks right away and never let up in a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 26-24) triumph.
"We play in a tough league, we play Humber quite a bit, [so] we see them a lot and I think it's [the fact] that we play matches like that in our division a lot, that makes our team so much better," Nipissing head coach Eric Yung said. "We're very happy with this because Humber is a quality team -- the defending national champions. Our guys right now, we're still improving point-by-point. I'm really excited for the guys, they played for each other."
Offensively the Lakers held the advantage in all statistical categories, bettering the Hawks in kills (42-38), aces (3-1), blocks (7-4) and total offence (52-43). Humber, meanwhile, held a 31-19 edge in digs.
Tom Podstawka scored a match-high 17 points (15 kills, two blocks) for the Lakers, while Frankie Edgecombe (11 kills, one block) was also in double-figures for the victors.
On the Humber side of the ledger, three Hawks posted double-digit point totals, led by Trevor Wong (12 kills, one ace) and followed by Cam Fletcher (12 kills) and Matthew Isaacs (eight kills, two blocks).
Nipissing will await the victor of the other semi final (Mohawk/Algonquin) and Yung says the team will take some time to soak in this victory tonight, before really getting down to business tomorrow.
"I want these guys to enjoy these moments because you don't beat Humber on big stages too often," said Yung.
"Sheridan has done a great job hosting this tournament, so we'll rest up and probably watch the other semi final to see what our opponent is like and go from there. Tomorrow we'll talk about a little bit of a game plan. The bottom line is these guys just wanted to come out and play volleyball tonight, they didn't take anything for granted and they played like that."
Notes: Through their three-match post-season win streak to get into the championship game, Nipissing has yet to drop a set, out-scoring their opponents by a total of 227-178. The loss snaps Humber's eight-game post-season win streak dating back to last year's OCAA and CCAA tournaments were they emerged victorious. It also ends their run of three-straight OCAA titles. They will play Redeemer in the first bronze medal semi-final Saturday morning.