ETOBICOKE, ON: The Humber Hawks women's volleyball team (13-0, 1st West) soared to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-21) win over the Niagara Knights (11-2, 2nd West). With the win, the Hawks have inched closer to a West Division title and an automatic berth in the 2017 OCAA Championships, which are being held in Windsor on February 24-16/17.
In what was labelled "a battle for first place", it was the hometown Hawks that made a statement with the sweep, and created a larger space between the two teams in the West. Humber, by way of the win over Niagara have secured the tie-breaker against the Knights, as they have won both matches between the two squads this season.
The first set belonged to Hawks middle Elizabeth Deakin Poot, as she combined 3 kills with 2 aces to lead both teams after one. The Hawks passed well, but it was their service that put the Knights on their heels, lifting them to the 25-17 first set win. Niagara's Rachel Rivers was a force for the visiting Knights with 4 kills on just 6 attempts.
All Hawks in the second set is the best way to describe a dominating 25-14 win, to take a 2-0 lead in the match. Setter Gabie Miletic showed why she should be considered for year-end recognition, doubling up her assist total from the first set and adding 2 kills as well. The league's second leading scorer Devan O'Connor came alive and contributed 3 more kills.
The third and final set was tight through the 16 point mark, with the Knights continually eating into a slim Hawks lead. With Humber up just a single point, it was Brynne Spence-Coleman who took it upon herself to make a run to put Humber into the 20's and with a chance to salt the game away. Give Niagara full points for a late drive, but it was too little, too late. The set ended 25-21, and the match 3-0.
"This was a real nice win for us tonight, " said Hawks head coach Chris Wilkins. "I took a quick look at the stats and it supported what I saw on the court, that is that our depth came through as we got terrific efforts across the entire line-up."
Alley Newman led the Hawks offensively on the night, totaling 12 points on 7 kills, 2 aces and 2 blocks. Devan O'Connor, after a slow start continued to pound balls and was able to hit double digits with a team high 9 kills and 1 block.
Jordan Koslowski turned in an amazing third set, as her 9 points on 6 kills and 3 blocks gave her a team high 12 points on the night. Although she started hot, Knights star Rachel Rivers cooled down and was unable to get to double digits in offence.
Brynne Spence-Coleman of the Hawks was selected as the Hawk Nation Player of the Game.
Humber will take to the court once again on Thursday, February 2. The Redeemer Royals will invade the Humber Athletic Centre, with a first serve slated for 6:00 pm.