Falcons men’s volleyball team headed to nationals

A photo of Daniel Ridings spiking a volleyball. CREDIT: FANSHAWE ATHLETICS
Fanshawe’s Daniel Ridings finished as an OCAA Tournament All-Star following the championship game.

The Fanshawe Falcons men’s vol­leyball team is officially headed to nationals following their matchup against the Humber Hawks at the OCAA championships.

The Falcons, who were the second ranked team in the West, battled against the Hawks, coming in as the number five team in the West and the three-time defending champions.

The game took place at Fan­shawe’s Glenn Johnston Athletic Centre, where the Falcons looked to get out to an early lead in the first set. Jack Voght opened things up with an ace, helping the team to a 6-3 lead early on.

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The Hawks were able to keep up the pace though, with Fanshawe hold­ing a slight 17-15 advantage before Humber was able to get ahead to take the first set 25-20.

Similar to the first set, the Falcons got to an early lead in the second set, with Jayden Crowther making some key blocks for the team to bring them to a 7-4 lead. Zack Admans con­tributed with some key kills in the tight set, but Fanshawe was able to tie the game up with a 25-22 win. In the third, things were close between the two teams, with points being exchanged leading to a tie at 9-9.

The tide turned in the Hawks’ favour though, thanks to the efforts of Alain Pineault and Josh Nicholson, as well as Jaskarn Kalsi, who was able to record three kills during a run that would see the Hawks taking the set with a 25-19 win.

The Hawks rode the momentum into the fourth set, getting off to an early 5-1 lead.

The Falcons were able to rally though, with kills from Daniel Rid­ings as well as an ace from Voght helping to get Fanshawe back in the lead. The men built on their lead, gaining momentum thanks to three consecutive kills from Admans and ultimately taking the set 25-20.

This forced a fifth and final set between the two teams.

Humber took the lead first, going on a 6-3 run thanks to consistent kills from three of the Hawks’ pri­mary players. The Falcons would mount a comeback though, scor­ing four straight to take the lead. The lead would then change hands between the two teams, simi­lar to how the rest of the day had gone so far.

Fanshawe would end up falling behind though, with the Hawks going on a run to take a 15-12 win and successfully taking the match, becoming four-time champions in the process.

Through the game, Humber finished with a .265 hitting per­centage versus Fanshawe’s .178, but the Falcons finished with more digs at 56 as well as more than double the amount of aces at 9 versus Humber’s 4.

For the Falcons, Admans was named as the player of the match after scoring 21 points and a .432 kill percentage. As well, Admans and Ridings were both named as Fanshawe’s OCAA Tournament All-Stars, with Humber’s Marcus Morgan being named player of the match as well as being named the OCAA Tournament MVP.

Even with the loss, Fanshawe along with Humber will both be heading to the CCAA men’s vol­leyball Championships. The tournament will be held at Camosun College in Victoria, British Colum­bia from March 7-10.