Recap by Aideena Wickstrom
Etobicoke, ON: On November 24, two nationally ranked teams battled head to head in a four set nail biter which ended in controversy. The Fanshawe Falcons (5th, CCAA), travelled to Etobicoke to be welcomed by the Humber Hawks (12th, CCAA).
With each teams making repeated unforced errors, it was evident that both birds had a slow start to the opening set. Eventually, the Falcons gained momentum while the Hawks were still trying to get off the ground. After falling behind by four points, the Hawks called the first timeout of the game. Humber came back onto the court with intensity, quickly shoving three points down on the opposing court. The Hawks forced pressure on Fanshawe by setting up a tall block. This cornered Fanshawe, forcing them into a timeout at 24-24. After a close back and forth, the Falcons stole the first set, 28-26.
Humber rebounded from their close call in the first set with a fast five point lead in the second. Running and gunning, the Hawks nailed down kill after kill, refusing to give the Falcons any chance to catch up. Fanshawe needed a timeout as the score quickly escalated to 14-7. Unable to peck out of the hole they were in, the Falcons began to crumble under the Hawks. Humber finished off the second set 25-12.
The third set was identical to the first. Both teams struggled to gain momentum before the Falcons pulled away with a four point lead. Just like the first set, Humber's coach Chris Wilkins called a timeout at 11-15. Coming back onto the court, the Hawks seemed to lack the fire that they had at the beginning of the game. As rallies got longer and longer, Humber began to make more and more unforced errors. After giving Fanshawe a serving run of five, the Hawks dropped the third set 25-18
The Hawks took a quick lead in the fourth set as they strived to push the game to five. Middle blocker Alex Krstonosic made an aggressive kill, followed by a huge block, motivating the Falcons to call a timeout. Staying disciplined and tough at the net, the Hawks earned a 17-10 lead over the Falcons. Seemingly easing up, Humber made a couple of rookie mistakes and shortened their lead to 22-19.
With the crowd and court getting more and more intense as the points went on, tensions rose. Humber's Alex Krstonosic hit a massive kill off of the middle blockers hands, clearly ricocheting the ball out of bounds, giving Humber the set and forcing a fifth and deciding frame. The 'linesman' called that there was contact by Fanshawe and that the point was Humber's. Yet the 'up referee' chose to not acknowledge or ask the linesman for their view of the play, incorrectly overruling the call and giving the point to Fanshawe. This caused an uproar by the crowd, and by Humber's team and coaching staff.
This questionable call shook up Humber, causing them to lose focus and let Fanshawe even up the score at 24-24. Trying to regain their energy, the Hawks lost momentum too late in the game for recovery. They dropped the set to Fanshawe 26-24.
On a high note Kyla Wilkins racked became the first Hawk to amass 500 digs for her career
Next week, on November 29th, the Hawks will travel to Welland to compete against the Niagara Knights.