The Mohawk Mountaineers won the bronze medal at the 2008 Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Men’s Volleyball Championship on Sunday evening (March 9) as they defeated the Limoilou Titans 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18).
This marks the first time in Mohawk College history that the men’s volleyball program has made it to the medal podium on the national stage, having been shutout the past two seasons at the national championships.
For the Ontario College Athletic Association, it marked the second consecutive year that a member has won a medal at the Canadian final as the Algonquin Thunder won bronze last season.
Limoilou finishes fourth, with their two losses in the championship coming against the Mountaineers. It was a disappointing result for the Quebec champions as they were not able to capture their 18th overall medal in the 30th anniversary of the national championship.
The bronze-medal duel was a rematch of opening round play at the championship, won in four sets by Mohawk on Friday night.
The story of Sunday’s game was Mohawk’s ability to get off to a quick start in every set. As the Mountaineers built up momentum, the Titans were unable to recover from early deficits.
Having played a trio of four-set matches over the weekend, the Mountaineers still found enough energy to jump out to 8-4 and 18-13 leads to open up the match. Mohawk continued to roll in the opening frame as they took the first set 5-18, going out in front 1-0. Mohawk’s Jasmin Cull led all Mohawk scorers in the set with six points.
Midway through the second set, the teams found themselves deadlocked at 15 points apiece. The Titans turned up the pressure and managed to roll off a 3-0 run highlighted by a Mathieu McLaughlin ace which caused the Mountaineers to call a timeout. Coming out of the break, Mohawk was able to fight back, scoring the next three points to tie the set at 18-18. The Titans managed to rebound and gained a little separation late in the set to build a slim 24-23 lead. With the set in balance, Mohawk’s Adam Schiedel put a serve in the net giving Limoilou the two point second set victory.
The Mountaineers came out strong in the third set as they established an early 7-1 lead. The Titans cut the lead to three points (14-11) causing Mohawk’s coach James Bradley to call another timeout. The Titans would get within one point following the break (14-13), but the Mountaineers would regain their composure to go on to a 25-20 set victory. Schiedel closed out the set with a thunderous block to put the Mountaineers one win away from the bronze medal.
In the fourth set, Mohawk once again began on a roll as they managed to go out in front 7-2. As the set moved along, Mohawk sensed that a bronze medal was within its grasp. The Titans would get within two points, but that is as close as they would come as the Mountaineers won by a score of 25-18 to claim their school’s first national medal in the sport.
Steve Pawelczyk who finished things off with a kill on the final play recorded 12 points in the Mohawk win. Jasmin Cull led all scorers with 28 points to finish the championship with 108 in total. McLaughlin of the Titans led his team with 25 points in the losing cause.
25-18, 23-25, 25-20, 25-18
Mohawk Leading Scorers
Jasmin Cull – 28 points (27 kills, 1 ace) and 7 digs
Steve Pawelczyk – 12 points (12 kills) and 5 digs
Limoilou Leading Scorers
Mathieu McLaughlin – 25 points (22 kills, 3 aces) and 4 digs
Frederic Mondou – 12 points (11 kills, 1 block) and 2 digs
Players of the Game
Jasmin Cull, Mohawk
Mathieu McLaughlin, Limoilou