The Brock Badgers women’s and men’s volleyball teams had a fairly light schedule this past week, with just one game taking place on their schedules. Both teams hit the road on November 18 and headed to Peterborough to take on the Trent Excalibur. Entering Sunday, the Trent volleyball programs had a combined 0-11 record — the men were 0-5 and the women were 0-6 — so the matchups provided an opportunity for both of Brock’s teams to find their way into the win column.
The Brock women began their season slowly with a 1-3 record out of the gate but swept their home-opening weekend to pull their record up to .500 at 3-3. This game at Trent represented an opportunity for Brock women’s volleyball to earn a winning record for the first time since Nov. 11 of last year.
The Badgers wasted no time jumping all over the weaker Excalibur squad, squeaking out a 25-23 win in the first set and then following that up with a dominant 25-15 win in the second set to go up 2-0. They narrowly dropped the third set 25-23, but the result was never in doubt as they bounced back to control the fourth set by a score of 25-15. The 3-1 victory brings the team to 4-3 on the season and they were led by a pair of fourth year players. Laura Condotta once again paced the team, accounting for a match-high 15.5 points with 14 kills and 20 digs. It’s the fifth out of seven Badgers games where Condotta has led the team in terms of point output. The other fourth year with a big hand in the result was Darby Taylor, as she accounted for a personal season high of 13.5 points. Emily Armstrong, who left the match with a left leg injury in the Badgers last game versus Queen’s, remained inactive in the match against Trent. Her fellow captain, Tori Carroll, also remained on the sidelines due to injury.
The Badgers now find themselves in a decent position with playoffs being on their minds. They now sit in the very middle of the seven team OUA West Division in fourth place, just half a game back of the 4-2 Guelph Gryphons for third place. The Gryphons are set to come to Brock on Nov. 23 at 6:00 p.m. in what looks to be one of the more important matches for the team to date. The weekend won’t get any easier for the Badgers as the undefeated Waterloo Warriors will be in the Bob Davis Gymnasium to take them on at 6:00 p.m. on Nov. 24.
The men entered play this weekend coming off of a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Queen’s after leading 2-0. The Badgers sat at 1-5 in desperate need of some positivity in order to get their season back on track. They were without 2017-18 OUA Rookie of the Year Logan House in Sunday’s match, which represented yet another hurdle for the Badgers to get past. I was unable to receive any confirmation as to why House was inactive, but I am of the understanding that he joined the team for their normal activities on Nov. 19.
The Badgers came out firing in this match, as they seized control with a statement 25-14 set to open the match. They followed that up with 25-20 and 25-22 wins to seal the 3-0 victory and sweep away the Excalibur. The Badgers took care of business when they needed to most and improved their record to an unimpressive, but not awful, 2-5 with 10 games remaining in their 17 game regular season. They sit fifth in the OUA West Division and the weekend ahead presents matches against the two teams sandwiching them in the standings right now. The 2-2 Guelph Gryphons will play the Badgers at 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 23 and the 1-2 Waterloo Warriors, who are coming off of their first win of the season against a strong Western team, will take on the Badgers at 8:00 p.m. on Nov. 24.