First the good news: The undefeated Mohawk men made quick work of the Nipissing Lakers, sweeping them 3-0 in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association volleyball.
Now the bad news: For the first time this season, the women lost, 3-2, in a see-saw encounter with the North Bay university at the Fennell Gym on Saturday (Jan. 26).
The Mountaineer men whipped the Lakers 25-12, 25-17, 25-16, putting on a powerful display for their ninth win in a row. Jasmin Cull had seven kills, two stuff blocks and four service aces to lead the winners with 13 offensive points.
Kevin Watson produced six kills, one block and two aces for nine points, the same total as Adam Schiedel, who had seven kills and two aces.
Mohawk coach James Bradley said his team really came out and played against a very good opponent in Nipissing, now 5-4. Bradley feels the return of All-Canadian setter Peter Sniuolis and all-star middle Steve Pawelczyk from injuries makes a big difference.
Players who filled in for the two stars were having to play unfamiliar roles that put considerable pressure on them. “Today, everything seemed to come together, said Bradley. “We were kind of back in the flow of where we were when we left Quebec (the Limoilou tourney).”
Bradley also noted that Saturday’s game being the last home match of the regular season, this was an emotional contest for some players, including five-year Mountaineer Sniuolis and third-year man Watson, who may have played their last games on home court. But there’s more play on the road including a huge encounter Thursday (Jan. 31) when Mohawk, now 9-0, visits the Humber Hawks, 8-1.
The Mohawk women got off to a poor start and although they came back to lead two games to one, eventually bowed 22-25, 25-18, 27-25, 21-25, 11-15 to the Lakers.
Rachel VanHartingsvelt had 20 points for the Mountaineers from 17 kills and three stuff blocks. Leah Waxman scored 16 kills and an ace for 17 points and Sarah Borycki had nine kills and seven blocks for 16 points.
Mohawk actually had more offence than Nipissing, 77 points to 61 but head coach Brian McEnhill noted his team made 17 service errors. “You’re going to lose every (time) you play if you have 17 service errors in a match. You can’t recover from that.”
While Nipissing improved it’s record to 8-3, the Mountaineers are now 9-1 and have a very difficult opponent coming up Thursday (Jan. 31) when they visit Humber, 10-1.