Brock women’s volleyball is on an impressive roll. The team has won five consecutive matches and are well on their way to qualifying for the OUA playoffs. Don’t tell them that though, because in their minds, the must-win games have already started in a very tight OUA West division.
“I’ve been telling them that we’re already in the playoffs, meaning that every game from now on is a playoff game because mathematically we’re not in the playoffs yet,” said Brock head coach Steve Delaney. “We’re going to need probably at least two or three more wins to make that happen because it’s so close. So we just need to keep getting better; we’ve got a lot of improving to do and not a lot of time.”
The Badgers are coming off of a week that saw them pick up their ninth win of the season on January 31, as they toppled the Guelph Gryphons by a score of 3-2 (13-25, 25-23, 25-22, 17-25, 15-7) on the road, officially sweeping the season series with the Gryphons. With a couple days of rest following that match, the Badgers returned home on February 3 to take on the last placed Lakehead Thunderwolves. As expected, the Badgers were able to take care of business against a Lakehead program with just a single win on the season as they made quick work of the Thunderwolves. The final score ended at 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-22). This marked another season series sweep of a division rival.
“It’s the second time we’ve played them [Lakehead] in three weeks, sometimes that can be scary because you have preconceived ideas of what the team is going to do against you but we game planned pretty well,” said Delaney. “In a game like that it’s more about our side of the court, we take care of what we need to take care of then it becomes a lot easier for us to be victorious because we know we’re solid and we’re sound.”
With just four matches left in the regular season, three of which will take place at home in the Bob Davis Gymnasium, the Badgers sit at 10-5, second place in the OUA West division behind the undefeated Waterloo Warriors. They currently have a six point cushion on the playoffs with Guelph and Windsor both pushing to get inside the top four; as 9-5 Western and 8-6 McMaster round out the teams in playoff spots. In spite of a clearly condensed bunch of teams behind them, the Badgers have done well to place themselves in a situation where they control their own fate. Their schedule shifts this upcoming week, as the team faces off against two teams from the opposing OUA East division that they haven’t faced yet this year.
“I wish I had a little more familiarity at this point because they’re big games,” said Delaney. “They’re both at home and they’re must wins so it’s a good challenge for us to be able to game plan and match prepare.”
The home matches being alluded to take place on Feb. 9 at 1:00 p.m. against the 7-6 York Lions and then the second half of a back-to-back will be against the 4-9 Nippissing Lakers at 1:00 p.m. Feb. 10. The pressure is on as the season winds down and Delaney and his team are fully aware of the magnitude of their situation.
“We just have to win. We can’t drop one here, it’d be detrimental,” said Delaney.
As for the Brock men’s volleyball team, they had this past weekend off from league play, but they’re back in action against York and Nippissing directly following both of the women’s matches.