Thursday, February 9th saw the Niagara College men's volleyball program pick up their biggest win of the season as the team defeated the visiting Sheridan Bruins in four sets. The set scores in the contest were 21-25, 25-21, 25-14, 25-20. The win moves the Knights into the sixth and final playoff spot in the OCAA West Division with just one game remaining.
The Knights and Bruins entered the pivotal divisional matchup with matching 8-8 records. A win by either team essentially locked up a spot in the post-season, and after dropping the opening set, the Knights showed a level of play that has eluded the team since the mid-term break. The catalyst for the performance was their pair of middle blockers.
"Our middles were awesome tonight" said Niagara Knights head coach Nathan Groenveld. "Jake (Williamson) was a monster, and Logan (Varga) was excellent. I think the two of them really played at the top of their game tonight.
Williamson, a six-foot-six native of St. Catharines, joined the team in January after recovering from an off-season ankle injury. The former Eden Flyer finished was a dominant 19 kills and two blocks. While the six-foot-four veteran Varga (Brantford) turned in his best game in a Knights uniform finishing with 15 kills and a block.
"I thought overall we passed really well" continued Groenveld. "Which led to Garrett Suderman running our offensive game plan to perfection. He executed about as well as it could have been done. It was his best game as a Knight."
Suderman, native of Niverville, Manitoba finished with a dominant 49 assists, compared to just 32 for the entire Bruins roster.
The win sets the stage for the Knights final game of the 2016-17 regular season. The team will host the Redeemer Royals on February 15th at the Welland athletic centre. The game will serve as the annual Knights' volleyball grad night, where graduating members of the team will be honoured prior to the first serve.