ETOBICOKE, ON: The Humber Hawks women's volleyball, defending nine-time OCAA champions and 2016 CCAA Bronze medalists, will open their 2016/17 regular season on Thursday night at the Humber Athletic Centre against the Conestoga Condors. The first serve is set for 6:00 pm.
The Hawks have completed a very active and vigorous pre-season schedule, which saw them play a number of the best university teams in the province, from as far away and North Bay to Windsor. Their only competition against OCAA based teams took place a couple of weeks ago at the Niagara College Invitational in Welland. Humber went undefeated, and knocked off Fanshawe in three straight sets to claim the tournament title.
The normally veteran laden squad has changed its makeup this year, with six freshman joining seven players with post-secondary experience. Of interest regarding the veteran ranks, is that perpetual All Star middle Alley Newman will be participating in her fifth and final season. She has been the glue in the middle for these fine Hawk teams, and over the past few seasons has added an impressive offensive attack to her game.
Also of note, returning for her third year of play, but first for the Hawks is setter Gabie Miletic of Windsor. Miletic is a former starting setter for the University of Windsor, replaces All Star Brittany Vanderlaan, who left the program to pursue academic challenges elsewhere. She will quickly be recognized as the top setter in the league, one who mixes great ball handling with the skill set to both block and attack. She returned with the Hawks to Windsor this past weekend, and led Humber to a win over her last club.
Perhaps the most imposing rookie on the team and entire league will be outside hitter Breanna Golding of Pickering. She came to the Hawks with an impressive record in club play, which included being a 17U Premiere National Gold Medalist. She has already made an impression, especially in the college ranks, as she was named as the most valuable player at the Niagara Invitational.
The entire coaching staff returns, led by legendary head man Chris Wilkins. Wilkins has led the Hawks to the most successful run of any team in OCAA history. Re-joining the team after a year sabbatical is Rachel Dubbeldam. This former player and coach will seamlessly jump back into the practice court and add her valuable touch to the squad.
Kitchener's Conestoga College will be the first team for the Hawks to face this year. The Condors have struggled since their return to OCAA play a few years ago, and finished last season with a dismal 2-16 record. They have not got off to a good start this season, dropping both matches they have played. Tori Kozak has been the lone bright spot, leading the team in kills (15) and points per set average (3.0).
Look for the Hawks to come out strong in front of the home crowd and set the tone for the entire season.
Should you be unable to attend, please catch the game via our "live stream", provided by Hawk broadcast team BRTV. CLICK HERE!
For all OCAA results, standings and more: CLICK HERE!