With tensions rising as the men’s volleyball team continued to struggle, this weekend might have been a turning point in their season.
The Badgers seemed to have hit rock bottom on Friday night against the Windsor Lancers. The team got off to a slow start, but were able to fight back and keep up with their opponent early. Things started to turn sour around the mid-way point of the set, and the Badgers fell behind 18-12 before calling a timeout to try to salvage the set. Despite their efforts it was too little, too late for the Badgers as they lost the first set 25-19.
Things actually began to get worse for the team as the game went on. Brock fell behind early, partly due to some questionable calls not going their way. The frustration among players, coaches and even the fans was obvious at this point. With the way the game was going the Badgers were looking for any break they could get, but none were coming their way. The momentum continued to tilt more in Windsor’s favour, and they used that to run away with the set again. While the Lancers were playing well, the Badgers were unable to help their own cause. Some mistakes in the passing and serving aspects of their game caused the Badgers to fall behind even further, hurting their chances of a comeback in the set. After a 25-15 loss, the Badgers were down 2-0 and it seemed like any chance that Brock had at a win in their home gym had slipped away.
The game went from bad to worse in the third set, as the Lancers were able to string together consecutive points to take a 16-7 lead. By this point, it was clear the Badgers had accepted the loss. With the way things have gone this season, it is understandable that players would be frustrated. While the Badgers were caught up on some of the calls made against them, the Lancers continued to push ahead. Late in the third set, it appeared as though frustrations finally boiled over when a series of bad plays led to head coach Doug Hanes throwing his clipboard as the Badgers went on to drop the third and final set by a score of 25-12.
When asked for a comment after the game, Hanes just had one thing to say about the performance.
“We played poorly from the start and it didn’t get any better.”
Somewhat surprisingly, things did get better for the Badgers on Saturday night as they went on the road to play the Gryphons. After falling 25-14 in the first set it looked like the Badgers were in for another long night. Despite the slow start, Brock answered back by winning the next two sets, marking the first time all season they had won two sets in a match. Guelph came back to take the fourth set by a large margin, and after that the two teams were prepared for a fifth and final set. Both teams were evenly matched, so much that an extended set was needed to finally determine a winner. Ultimately, the Badgers were able to pull ahead to take a 20-18 win.
It was one of the younger Badgers, Logan House, who led the team to their first win of the season. The first year player had 20 kills, 12 digs, three aces and three blocks during the game, leading both teams in terms of offense. Tim Spisar also contributed with 10 kills, while setter Marcelo Correa added 36 assists. On the other side of the court, the Gryphons were led by Kendrick Kerr who had 17 kills.
Friday was the low point of the season for the Badgers, and Saturday showed that the only way to go was up. By no means is Brock set to make a playoff push, but to get their first win of their season is a breath of fresh air for them. It took longer than expected, but the first win of this season can give the team some momentum moving forward.