This season has not gone the way the men’s volleyball team had hoped. After going winless through the first six games of their season, the Badgers were looking for a fresh start in 2018.
It was a tough way to kick off the new year, with games on the road against the top two teams in the west division in McMaster and Western. They started their trip taking on the Marauders on Friday night. It was the second meeting of the season between the two teams, with McMaster taking the first one by a score of 3-0.
Unfortunately, a new year did not bring new results for Brock. Once again, the Marauders came away with a relatively easy 3-0 victory. For the Badgers, Tim Spisar led the attack with six kills and also chipped in on the defensive side with seven digs. Marcelo Correa also had a productive game, setting up his teammates sixteen times on the day.
The Badgers returned home to play Western on Saturday night. Earlier this season, the Mustangs beat Brock 3-1, but the Badgers were able to beat the Mustangs twice in preseason play.
Despite the home crowd advantage, the Badgers were unable to generate any sustained momentum and the Mustangs were able to hand Brock yet another loss.
The Badgers kept it close at the start, trading points with the Mustangs in the first set. Brock was able to keep it close with their opponent until around the midway point of the set, with the score at 16-12 for Western at the technical timeout. The Mustangs came out with two quick points before Brock head coach Doug Hanes called a timeout to stop any sort of run, but it was not enough to stop the bleeding. The Mustangs piled on the pressure, and ran away with a 25-16 win in the first set.
Things got ugly for the Badgers in the second set. Western jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. After falling behind 8-4, Hanes was forced to call another time out before the set was out of reach, but it was already too late for the Badgers. The Mustangs had built up a 16-5 lead by the midway point, and ran away with a 25-11 win in the second set.
Brock appeared to have finally figured things out in the third set, building a slight lead to start the set. Western battled back and eventually took a slight 16-13 lead. With two quick Western points after the technical timeout, Hanes called another timeout in an effort to kill the momentum swing. But once again, Western proved to be too dominant for the Badgers and continued to show their dominance with a 25-17 win, taking the match in straight sets. One of the bright spots for the Badgers was the play of Logan House, who had 13 kills in the game. Felipe Costa also had 9 digs as libero, while Marcelo Correa had 18 assists.
After the weekend, the Badgers now have an 0-8 record this season and are one of only two teams still in search of their first win (along with Trent). While the results weren’t as expected, the losses over the weekend go to show that the Badgers still have a long way to go to compete with some of the top teams in the OUA. It was expected that a program in only the second season would experience some struggles, and those struggles have been evident all season long. With just nine games left this season, the playoffs are likely out of reach for this team. However, the focus should remain on building for the future.
Things are not all bad for the men’s volleyball team. It is evident that there is plenty of talent on the team, and that some of the young players will become important pieces in the coming years. However, right now the Badgers need to takes lessons from their experiences against the top teams in the province. There’s only one direction this team can go, and it is up.