The Niagara Knights men's volleyball program earned a tough come from behind victory on the road Thursday night when they defeated the Conestoga Condors (2-3, 4th OCAA West) 3 sets to 2. The victory Thursday night improves Niagara's record to 3-1 and puts them in sole possession of 3rd place in the OCAA West division.
The Knights dropped the first two sets of the game 25-17 and 25-18, and looked to have dug themselves a hole very difficult to get out of. The program was looking to find an answer for the aggressive Condor attack, and they seemed to find it starting in the third set.
The Knights would go on to find their groove and battle for two straight set victories (25-22 and 26-24) to force the Condors into the sudden death fifth set. Both teams traded blows, keeping the 5th close while giving both programs the opportunity to win. It wasn't until Knights 1st year outside Jaydon Milne (Toronto, Ont.) iced the match, serving two straight aces to seal the 15-11 5th set victory.
"I was proud of the way we kept making little adjustments and kept battling," said knights' head coach Nathan Groenveld. "All I asked the guys was to keep it close enough so when we gained traction we were close enough to have it change the outcome of the match. And to their credit they did just that."
Groenveld was also impressed with the performance of his veteran setter Ben Fillmore (Port Dover, Ont.). "I thought Ben Fillmore was absolutely awesome tonight. He had 46 assists and he kept us composed when things weren't going our way."
The Knights also had impressive offensive performances from 1st year outside hitter Jaydon Milne (Toronto, Ont.), 2nd year outside hitter Mitch Sawatsky (St. Catharines, Ont.) and 2nd year middle blocker Jacob Williamson (St. Catharines, Ont.) who had 17 points, 15 points and 16 points respectively. In a long season such as volleyball, the Knights will depend on these types of all-around performances if they hope to stay in the upper tier of the OCAA west division.
The Knights will be back in action when they host the St. Clair Saints (2-1, 5th OCAA West) at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre Saturday, November, 18th at 230pm.