ETOBICOKE, ON: There is not much room to separate the participants in the OCAA men's volleyball game at Redeemer University in Ancaster on Friday night. Humber and Redeemer battle for second place in the West Division, with a higher play-off seed on the line.
THE MATCH UP
Humber "Hawks" @ Redeemer "Royals"
11-2, 2nd West 11-3, 2nd West
Friday, February 2
8:00 pm (or 30 minutes after the conclusion of the women's game)
Redeemer University Athletic Centre – Ancaster, ON
LAST TIME OUT
After back-to-back five-set marathons, the Hawks have registered back-to-back three-set wins, with the latest of Friday night at home against Mohawk. Only the third set seemed to be in question, but Humber made a solid run late to put the set and the match away. Playing without leading scorer Dylan Devecseri, it was Clayton Blanchette who stepped up and delivered a 16-point effort (11K, 3A, 2B)
LAST TIME OUT VS REDEEMER
The two teams met in season opener for both teams, and it was a Hawk win on home court by the slimmest of margins that was the result (25-22, 19-25, 25-15, 26-28, 16-14). Humber looked in control in dominating the third set, but a ping-pong type of fourth set forced the decider in the fifth. 2017 OCAA scoring champion Clayton Blanchette led the way with 20 points, while freshman Alex Bowden was stellar, contributing 15. Two Royals hit for double digits, led by Mitchell Harris and 14 point effort.
- The Royals are down 23-11 to the Hawks in all-time regular season play, but are a solid 8-9 on their home court
- With the new expanded playoff system in place, the top four teams in the West will host a crossover playoff game and the Royals are in a solid position to host a game
- Unlike their women's team, the men show a strength on the offensive side of the ball, scoring high in kill percentage and aces. The women are right near the top of blocking rankings, but the men drop off considerably as they are not in the top ten
- The Royals boast a solid one-two punch with Linden Bontkes and Mitchell Harris, as they check in with marks of 3.8 and 3.0 points per set average, respectively
- Pearson Stiller has played in all but eight sets this year from the setters spot on the floor, and has amassed a total of 376 assists
- With the win over Mohawk at home on Friday night, the Hawks have now won ten straight games, improving their record from a season low 1-2 to a solid mark of 11-2
- By doing the math, Humber has secured a home playoff crossover game, which will be held on Saturday, February 17 at 2:00 pm. An opponent has yet to be determined
- The Hawks have performed brilliantly from the service line, currently placing third in aces and aces per set. They drop to the middle of the pack in blocks andkill offence
- The coaching staff is looking forward to the return of leading scorer Dylan Devecseri (3.7 pps), but put a star next to Clayton Blanchette and Kamyn Wilkins names, as they have stepped up and delivered in Devecseris absence
- The setting continues to be shared by Rady Kim (255 assists) and Jake Gomes (141 assists). Rady has stayed on the floor often this year, as a libero, when not setting
- Head coach Wayne Wilkins is not going away, as with ten straight wins, is staying close to brother Chris's all-time Hawk coaches win record with 326 victories
- Clayton Blanchette has moved up in a number of Humber all-time records, and now sits third in kills (578), and fourth in service aces (73) and fourth in points (695). Based on his averages, he could move up the ladder in kills and total points this year
- You can catch the game streamed "LIVE" by clicking on the LINK