Thursday, February 2nd saw the Niagara Knights women's volleyball program jump back into the win column in a big way, defeating the visiting Fanshawe Falcons in a five-set marathon at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre. The set scores in the contest were 21-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-17, 15-12.
After winning the opening set in decisive fashion, the Falcons appeared poised to take a strangle hold on the match late in the second set. With Fanshawe leading 24-22 the Knights' veteran outside Hitter Rachel Rivers took to the service line and served four consecutive points, including a pair of service aces, to claw the Knights back into the match.
The Knights took the third set, 25-20, before Fanshawe battled back and won set four. This set the stage for a dramatic final frame. The Knights stormed out to an early 5-1 lead, but the Falcons refused to go quietly, closing the gap to just two points. Knights' middle blocker Linnea Davis, shut down the late rally with a pair of key stuff blocks to give the Niagara the hard fought victory.
"Tonight came down to our veteran players coming up big for us" said Niagara College women's volleyball head coach Nathan Janzen. "I thought Linnea was a huge difference maker, her blocking, defensive effort, and serving were all strong. Her overall leadership on our team crucial."
Davis, a six-foot-one native of Brampton, finished the game with three kills, four blocks, and an ace.
Offensively the Knights were led by OCAA West division scoring leader Jordan Koslowski (Hamilton) The five-foot-ten Sherwood Secondary School graduate finished with 15 kills, two service, aces, and two blocks.
The win moves the Knights to 12-3 on the season and sees the team maintain control of second place in the OCAA West Division. Up next the team will travel to Hamilton to face the Mohawk Mountaineers on February 4th.
Added Janzen, "we have a quick turnaround to face Mohawk. They are team that defends very well and keeps the ball in play. We need to keep improving defensively during these late season matches."