Playing at home for the first time in three weeks, the Brock Badgers men’s volleyball team lost a heartbreaker in four sets this past Sunday when they took on the No. 9 Toronto Varsity Blues in the Bob Davis Gym.
After starting the season 2-1, the Badgers loss to Toronto extends their losing skid to four. Brock now sits at 2-5 on the season, however the team has been better than they appear on paper. During the four game losing streak, two of the losses came in five sets, while Sunday’s loss could have easily went to a fifth set had it not been for an iffy call that ended the game.
“We just aren’t playing the way we are capable and that’s all there is to it,” said star player Logan House.
Toronto took the first set with ease, 25-17. Brock answered strong, winning a close second set that was tied on six different occasions before the technical timeout, by a score of 25-22.
Almost a mirror image of the first and second sets happened with the third and fourth. The Blues easily took the third set, 25-16, while the fourth set was a much more of a hard fought battle. The score was tied on eight occasions before the technical timeout and another nine times after that. Talk about a close game. With Badgers down 26-25, looking to force a fifth set, to the dismay of many Badgers players and staff, the Blues earned the match point on a call that many would deem questionable, including House.
“Refs are going to call the way they see it. Can’t change that. [After the] last point I just wanted to know who touched the ball. The linesman wouldn’t tell me, which was where my frustration came from.” said House.
“I thought that we made some poor attacking decisions tonight that ultimately cost us a tight game. We didn’t win the serve game but again have a lot of young players who are growing from this experience,” said head coach Matt Ragogna. “We fought with a solid team in the OUA who has years of experience and success. We have to keep moving forward. We have two huge games this week and have to be ready to go.”
Rookie Nanle Yusuf led the team with 15.5 points, 13 kills, 12 digs and two aces. Fellow rookie Sauli Lianga posted 13 points and 12 kills, while setters Marcelo Muniz Correa and rookie Grant Reddon added 20 and 15 assists respectively.
“Nanle has been a huge bright spot for us this year,” said Ragogna. “His transition from club to the OUA has been tremendous and he has focused on the little things that have improved his game. Holding his own passing in the OUA is not easy and his shot selections continue to improve after every game. I’m very excited for the things to come for him over the course of this and future seasons.”
The Badgers will head to Waterloo this coming Saturday to take on the 1-5 Warriors and then head home to take on the 5-1 Guelph Gryphons in the Bob Davis Gym at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.