Etobicoke, ON: On November 24th, two nationally ranked teams battled head to head in an intense three set match. The Fanshawe Falcons (1st , CCAA), travelled to Etobicoke to be welcomed by the Humber Hawks (5th , CCAA).
The Hawks had a slow start in the opening set against the Falcons. Making minor mistakes, Fanshawe was given an early opportunity towards the lead. Humber quickly cleaned up their game though, as an offensive presence by Kamyn Wilkins and Rafael Hilário brought them right back into the game at 10-10. They quickly let Fanshawe slip away with the lead again, the Hawks began to crumble under pressure. As the point spread widened between both teams, Humber was unable to catch up. The first set ended 25-20 for the Falcons.
The Hawks did not seem to show up to the second set against Fanshawe. Giving away a 4-0 start, Humber seemed unable to get under the ball and perform properly. The lead continued to widen between both teams as the Hawks offence was nonexistent. Now down by 10, there was not much opportunity for Humber to revive themselves from their deficit. The Hawks were winded by the Falcons as they flew away with the set at 25-13
The third set brought new energy from the Hawks men's volleyball team. Fighting to take a set off of the number 1 ranked team in the country, the Hawks took a quick 4 point lead from the Falcons. After a timeout by Fanshawe to regain their energy, the Falcons worked towards shortening their deficit. After minor errors on Humber's side, the Falcons remained just two points behind. Right side attacker Rafael Hilário made the Hawk's Nest go wild after slamming a kill onto the Falcons floor, and forced them into a timeout. Now 23-22, both teams were head to head for claiming the victory. With no time outs left, both sides were exploding with energy. Both teams went back and forth, point for point, all the way to 30-30. Neither team was willing to fall under pressure as each rally was lasting nearly a minute or longer. After a tight match, the Hawks dropped the third and final set 33-31.
After an intense three sets against the best ranked team in the country, the Hawks came up short of the victory. Rafael Hilário led the Hawks with 10 kills, while Kamyn Wilkins followed directly behind with 7 kills and 2 aces.
Next week, on November 29th, the Hawks will travel to Welland to compete against the Niagara Knights. Full preview to come.