The opening game of the 2011 Adidas/VSP Sports OCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship showcased the many reasons that Ontario collegiate volleyball is amongst the most competitive in the nation.
The Redeemer Royals (8-10 on the regular season), of Ancaster, Ont., who gained entry into the Championship tournament via a one-game playoff elimination win over the Loyalist Lancers took the Sheridan Bruins (Oakville, Ont.), who finished their season atop the West Region with a 15-3 record, to five sets and won in a thrilling 3-2 upset victory. Led in scoring by OCAA West Region All-Star Christian Vandergeest (20 Points, 17 Kills) of Kitchener, Ont., the Royals came back from trailing two sets to one and overcame a dominant performance by Sheridan’s Cody Williams, a native of Milton, Ontario, who notched a game-high 31 kills and had more than 20 after three sets.
Going into the Championships, the Bruins were currently ranked #1 in the province and #4 in the country.
Despite a rocky first set, losing 25-17, Redeemer bounced back with a hard-fought 27-25 victory in the second game. Surrey, BC’s David Klomps provided additional support on the scoresheet for Redeemer, pitching in with 18 Points and 16 Kills in a dynamic team effort by the Royals.
OCAA Player of the Year and Brampton native Andrew Henry earned 15 Kills for the Bruins, who have not qualified for an OCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship since 1994. Under the watchful eye of OCAA Coach of the Year, Dave McAllister, Sheridan has risen to the top of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association standings.
Williams and Vandergeest were named Adidas/VSP Sports Players of the Game for their respective teams. Redeemer hosted the 2010 OCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship and won bronze on home court last season.
Next up for the Royals, their Hamilton rival the Mohawk Mountaineers. The Royals will fight in this dream match up for the right to play for Gold. Game time is 6pm on Friday at Seneca College. The winner of the match advances straight to the Gold medal match.