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Forgot how good the Falcons are?

Aaron Hall | Interrobang | Sports | January 16th, 2006

Sitting in first place is a common theme for men and women alike at Fanshawe College.

The Fanshawe Falcon men's and women's volleyball and basketball teams have enjoyed successful first halves of their respected seasons. Each team is looking forward to continuing their successful pace and earn spots in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) playoffs.

After seeing major success stories in the first half of the school term from the women's soccer team and the men's cross-country running team, the Falcons will have high hopes for bringing home some OCAA championships and possible Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) medals.

Women's volleyball - Sitting in first place in the OCAA West division with a 7-1 record, the Falcon women looked poised to continue with their success in 2006.

“All of the kids are really motivated,” said Volleyball Coordinator Vaughn Peckham. “Our biggest job now is to maintain the position to gain an entrance into the OCAA championship without having to play a cross-over match.”

Leading the offensive attack for the Falcons, who are ranked 14th in the CCAA, has been team captain Stephanie Femia, and rookies Katie Seys and Amy Smith. The three women sit two, three, and four in scoring in the OCAA West division.

Head coach Lloyd Rumble says the trio of players are vital to the team's success but said another player keeps the team together.

“It is very hard to defend a team that has three very competent attackers but our libero (Karina Rowell) makes a huge difference,” Rumble said.

“She just has so much experience, and she knows how to play the game very very well. Whether she believes it or nor she is the glue for us when we're playing.”

First year player Seys was chosen as the lone representative for Fanshawe for the OCAA All-star team.

The women's next home match will be Wednesday January 18th against Sheridan at 6:00 p.m.

Men's volleyball - After losing the first game of the season to Mohawk, the Falcons rattled off six straight victories to finish off 2005. That streak leaves them in first place in the OCAA West division, and ranked 9th in the CCAA.

“Right now we've established the fact that in the West division we're the strongest team in both the men and the women's,” Peckham said.

“If anyone is going to take that position from us they are going to have to beat us, and I quite frankly just don't see that happening.”

Leading the way for the Falcons has been first year player Justin Guerin. Guerin currently leads in the OCAA West division in scoring at 4.12 points per game.
Setter Bruno Urbani and libero Pawel Kucharski have also been recognized by the OCAA and were selected to the All-star team.

The Falcons will have a setback as head coach Dave McMillan suffered a bout of appendicitis over the holidays, and will be away from the team until he fully recovers. Assistant coach Josh Westgate will take over in McMillan's absence.

The next home contest for Fanshawe will be Wednesday January 18th versus Sheridan at 8:00 p.m.

Women's basketball - With an undefeated 5-0 record the Falcons basketball team in the class of the OCAA West division.

After winning the division last season Fanshawe has already defeated their division rival Niagara College in an exciting home contest defeating the Knights 57-54 back on November 23rd.

Leading the Falcons has been Jessica Finlay who is averaging a team high 14.2 points per game. Right behind Finlay is Katharine Ford who averages a shade below 10 points per game at 9.67.

Head coach Lori MacKay continues to lead the young Falcon team with the help of associate coach Katie Havekes, who is currently participating in the coaching mentor program put on by the CCAA.

Fanshawe will next host the Sheridan Bruins on Wednesday February 1st at 6:00 p.m.

Men's basketball - Despite currently being tied for first place in the OCAA West division with a 5-2 record, the Fanshawe Falcon men's basketball team will have to search for leadership in the second half of the season.

Men's Athletic Officer Ernie Durocher said, “We've lost some key players but you've got to get up and keep working. Some other players will have to step up.”

Durocher also said that tryouts are currently open for the team and any interested basketball players are welcomed to come to practice any night from 5:00 — 7:00 p.m., or are invited to stop by the Athletic office. On the basketball court, Falcon guard Pat Sewell is on pace to break the OCAA for most three-pointers made in a season, and is leading Fanshawe in scoring at 20.43 points per game.

The Falcons also got a lift when guard Omar Sybbliss returned from injury, but he will be forced to compete with plates surrounding his orbital bone.

“We're looking for big things from Omar,” said Durocher.

The Falcon's will next host the St. Clair Saints on Wednesday February 8th at 8:00 p.m.
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