The Bob Davis Gymnasium is hosting meaningful volleyball once again. The Brock Badgers women’s volleyball team opened up 2019 by picking things up right where they left off prior to the holiday break, continuing their quest for a playoff spot. On January 12 and 13, the Badgers welcomed their OUA West Division rivals Western Mustangs and Windsor Lancers to town.
Each of these opponents that faced Brock are a part of the five team log-jam that are battling it out for favourable positioning. The Waterloo Warriors at 8-0 appear to be comfortably on their way to seizing the number one seed and Lakehead at 1-6 has fallen behind, leaving just three spots available for the rest of those contending teams in between.
The weekend of play didn’t start quite as the Badgers may have hoped, as the Mustangs took the match 3-1 (25-22, 25-27, 25-18, 25-23). This matchup was to decide who would be sitting alone in second place in the division, as the Badgers and Mustangs came into the weekend tied. This was another tough result for Brock, as the Mustangs had defeated the Badgers 3-0 in their one previous meeting back in November.
The second half of the back-to-back provided a stiffer test than may have been expected for the Badgers, as Windsor came out strong, beginning a high energy back and forth match. The Lancers took the first set and controlled the second set until a late run by Brock evened things back up. It was the same story in the third set, as Windsor had the quick start but Brock was able to counter and come back to move into a 2-1 set lead.
“Anytime you have a momentum switch and the switch is in your favour then the other team gets it back and then you come and are able to win it back, it not only helps you in your match but it makes your team stronger as a unit,” said Brock Head Coach Steve Delaney.
The pattern of quick Windsor starts continued as they stormed out to another early lead in the fourth set, at one point being up 11-3 on the Badgers. Brock again made a furious comeback, so much so that they held a 22-21 lead, but the comeback bid fell just short and a fifth set was needed. Brock finally bucked the trend in the fifth when it mattered most though, as the Badgers took the deciding set 15-8, leading the entire way, to win the match 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 15-8) and salvaging a split from the weekend.
“[Against Western] we didn’t play well. We didn’t serve well and the biggest thing is to be able to bounce back after a negative performance, especially at home, so we did do that today [against Windsor],” said Delaney.
“I mean, we still made some mental errors today but we made less of them and statistically we were just far better in every category, which really makes a difference in your match,” said Delaney.
As a result of these matches, Brock moves to 6-5 on the season and now sit in a three-way tie for second in the division with eight games left to play. Delaney stressed that there is still much more for the team to do in order to get to where they want to be.
“If our goal is to be in the playoffs we have some work to do. We’re at six wins now and we’re probably going to need 10 to 12 to make sure that we’re in the playoffs,” said Delaney. “So we definitely have a lot more winning to do.”
The next women’s volleyball action takes place at home against the Lakehead Thunderwolves on January 18 at 6:00 p.m. On Jan. 20 the team travels to McMaster for a match at 1:00 p.m.