Redeemer Royals in volleyball playoff hunt

The men’s and women’s volleyball teams traveled to Niagara College Thursday night in just their second league games of the New Year. With both teams coming off of losses from Jan. 11 against Sheridan, the goal was to get back on track with a pair of wins and create some momentum for the stretch run to the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association playoffs.

Going into the game, the Lady Royals and the Niagara women’s team sat deadlocked at 6-6 and tied for the final playoff spot. With big implications including taking over a playoff berth in the standings, both teams did not disappoint in a great match that saw the teams go to a fifth and deciding set. Unfortunately for the Royal, they were once again on the wrong end of a 3-2 match. In their two matches in 2011, the Royals have been unable to close out the game with both of them going to five sets.

The Lady Royals now sit at 6-7, tied for seventh place. The Royals do hold the tie breaker with Niagara but will need to better the Knights record down the stretch in order to put them in at least the sixth and final playoff spot position. The Royals will also need to keep an eye in the rear view mirror as Canadore sits tied with the Royals for seventh.

The Lady Royals will match up against Canadore on Jan. 28 in a game that will go a long way to determining which team will be battling Niagara for the final spot.

On the men’s side, the Redeemer Royals were looking for revenge for a season opening loss at home way back in October when Niagara came in and stole the match 3-1 on the Royals home court. They did just that as they walked away with a dominant performance and a 3-0 win.

With the win, the men improve to 6-5 and are tied for fourth with Nipissing University. They sit ahead of the pace and currently in the driver’s seat in terms of grabbing a top six playoff spot. However, with Mohawk and Nipissing so close, nothing is guaranteed and a few losses could see the Royals holding on to keep that elusive sixth spot or better. The next match up between the three teams sees Nipissing traveling to Redeemer on Jan. 29 in a match that will have huge playoff implications in terms of positioning in the standings.

Both Royals teams now turn their attention to a very busy eight days. The women look to put the Niagara game behind them when they welcome Sault College to Redeemer. Then, next Wednesday, both men’s and women’s teams travel to Fanshawe to battle the powerful Falcons before returning home on the weekend and playing back-to-back matches against Canadore and Nipissing on Friday and Saturday.

While the playoff picture is still quite muddy, things will certainly be a lot more clear over the course of the next week.