Photo By: Ryan Hyndman
Heading into the winter break, both Brock’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams stand in strong positions in the OUA West.
The women’s team, who are now ranked no. 3 in Canada, currently boast a record of 5-0, and along with the Western Mustangs are one of three undefeated teams in the OUA. The southern Ontario rivals are tied for first place in the OUA West with 10 points each. The teams will not meet until early February, with a home-and-home set scheduled for the first weekend of the month.
Further down the division standings, the McMaster Marauders (3-2) and the Waterloo Warriors (2-3) also sit in playoff positions at the moment. If the playoffs were to start today, Brock would face McMaster in the first round, who they dispatched of relatively easily a few weeks ago. In the event of a tie in the final standings, it would be broken based on head-to-head records.
Looking to the OUA East, the Nipissing Lakers hold the top spot at 5-1, while the York Lions and the no. 2 ranked University of Toronto Varsity Blues trail closely behind at 4-1 and 4-0, respectively. Rounding out the east playoff picture are the Queen’s Gaels at 3-1.
On a national level, the Badgers clocked in at third overall in the most recent U Sports poll, behind only the Varsity Blues and the University of Alberta Pandas. While the Badgers will continue to take things one game at a time, these opponents could come into play if the Badgers were to make a run at the national championship — an opportunity they qualified for but were denied due to COVID-19 in 2020.
The Badgers currently lead the OUA in team total assists, as well as assists per set, as well as total kills and kills per set. On the individual side, outside hitter Sadie Dick ranks third in the OUA in kills per set.
Setter Sara Rohr has also been the best setter to this point in the OUA season, with a staggering 172 assists, good for first in the province by a wide margin. Libero Aleiah Torres has been a key to a strong Brock defense, and has racked up 86 digs to rank first overall.
On the men’s side, the Badgers sit at 4-2 and are one of only two teams with a winning record in the OUA West. The lone team ahead of the Badgers in the division are the Marauders, who are undefeated at 5-0 and are ranked no. 2 in Canada behind only the Trinity Western Spartans.
The Badgers had some troubles with McMaster in their first two games against them, but will have one more chance for an upset on Jan. 22 in Hamilton. Waterloo, Windsor and Western are all tied for third place in the division with four points each, though none of the three teams boast a winning record.
The Badgers will see a healthy dose of all three when play resumes in January. The second half of the season opens with a home-and-home set against Waterloo on Jan. 14 and 15. A third matchup with the Warriors to end the season, as well as two games each against Western and Windsor to round out the 2022 schedule for the Badgers.
Out east, the Nipissing Lakers sit at 6-0 in first place in the division, while Queen’s, RMC, and U of T round out the rest of the current playoff picture.
The Badgers lead the OUA in hitting percentage at .316, a healthy lead over McMaster’s .277. The team also leads the province in total assists and assists per set, thanks in large part to setter Grant Reddon’s league-leading 212 assists. Brock holds a narrow lead on total kills in the OUA as well with 253.
Individually, senior outside hitter Logan House continues to dominate. House is second in the OUA in hitting percentage at .438, and first overall in kills at 92. Fellow senior Dean Globocki also makes an appearance in the top 10 with 63 kills.
Both of Brock’s volleyball teams have high aspirations as the season flips over to the new calendar year. Their combined record of 9-2 speaks volumes about the programs that head coaches Matt Ragogna and Steve Delaney have built. Look out for the Badgers as serious threats when playoffs roll around in February.