The men’s volleyball team is still in search of their first win of the season after losing to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in straight sets on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams got off to high energy starts, with the Badgers and Blues both capitalizing on their chances. It was Brock that was able to take the early lead in the set with the score at 10-8. Toronto began to chip away at that lead soon after, pulling ahead to take the lead 16-13 at the technical timeout. After this, the Blues continued their strong play, increasing their lead to six points and holding that lead through the rest of the set to take it by a score of 25-19.
After letting the first set slip away from them, the Badgers looked determined to not suffer that same fate in the second. Brock and Toronto kept the score close throughout the entire set, with the Blues holding a slight 16-15 lead at the technical timeout. Coming out of that timeout, the Badgers were the ones who looked to be on their way to win the set and tie up the game, taking a 20-18 lead. The Blues answered back with two points of their own to tie the game, forcing Brock to take a timeout. The timeout worked, as Brock came out strong to take a 23-21 lead, while the Varsity Blues looked like they were struggling. A Toronto timeout yielded positive result for the the Blues, and were able to tie the game at 23-23. The Badgers fought to close out the set, but their efforts fell just short and the Badgers lost another set, this time 27-25.
Much like their game last week against McMaster, the third set for the Badgers seemed to lack the same mental sharpness as the first two, and the score showed it. After falling behind 8-5, Badgers coach Doug Hanes was forced to take an early timeout to settle his team down. Unlike the previous set, the timeout was not enough for the Badgers to get back on track as the Varsity Blues continued to pull away in this one. After expanding the lead to six points, the University of Toronto carried the play and looked to seize the opportunity to close out the Badgers while they had the chance. Another Brock timeout at 18-12 was a last chance effort for the Badgers to put together a rally, but in the end the Badgers fell 25-17 and the Varsity Blues took the match 3-0.
For Brock, Logan House led the offense with 14 kills, while Marcelo Correa had 30 assists and Felipe Costa had 8 digs. On the other side of the court, Zia Karim had 16 kills, Jordan Figueira had 38 assists and Alex Ferris had 15 digs to help lead the Varsity Blues to victory and improve to 3-3 on their season.
“We served pretty well, we had so many opportunities to stop them once they became predictable with their setting, but they were just able to hit the ball off our block and score all the time,” said Brock head coach Doug Hanes.
The Badgers are now 0-6 this season, but the goal for this young team seems to be learning. With the team not playing again until after the holiday break, they will look to take advantage of the practice time to get back to the basics. Hanes made it clear that there were a couple areas for the Badgers to work on moving forward.
“We’re going to certainly work on blocking,” said Hanes. “We didn’t pass well enough either. If we don’t pass well and we don’t block well, I mean we can score with anybody, so it’s just those two things that we need to do better on.”
While the result was lopsided in the end, Hanes felt that the Badgers are a better team than they were on Sunday.
“That’s a team we should beat when we play well, but you can’t take anything away from them, they played really well,” Hanes said of the University of Toronto. “It’s just frustrating.”
Coming back in the new year, the Badgers will travel to McMaster on January 12, followed by a match against Western on January 13 at home. The two teams are first and second respectively in the division, which will be a challenge for the Badgers, but as Hanes noted, “it just is what it is, our division is very strong.”
While the team is still fairly new and the results have been tough, the Badgers are still building for the future. Hanes is sure that the wins will come soon.