By Ted Beale
(WINDSOR, ON) – The Sheridan Bruins defeated the Durham Lords 3-2 in dramatic fashion as the match went to the five set limit in game 6 of the OCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship Saturday afternoon at the SportsPlex.
The Bruins won the first set 25-21. Durham took control of the second and third set by winning both games by a score of 25-21. Sheridan were unrelenting in the fourth set, winning in extra points 32-30. The Bruins then eliminated the Lords from the tournament in the crucial fifth and final set by a score of 15-9.
Fourth-year left side Jeremy Fantin took player of the game honours for Sheridan with a match high 26 kills adding 18 digs, 2 blocks, a service ace, and an assist.
Fourth-year right side hitter Josh Butler contributed to the Bruins victory with 22 kills, 13 digs, 2 stuffed blocks, a service ace, and an assist.
Second-year right/left side hitter Erik Jansen was Durham’s player of the game adding 11 digs, 9 kills, 1 stuffed block, 1 assist in the loss.
“What a match, a few close sets, two great teams battling it out and neither team gave in,” said Sheridan Bruins coach Dave McAllister. “It was a tough comeback, but we played really well in sets four and five and I’m pleased with that.”
Sheridan advances to the bronze medal qualifier against the loser of Niagara and Fanshawe Sunday at 9:00 am.
The Niagara College Knights qualified for the OCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship Gold Medal Game after defeating the Fanshawe College Falcons 3-1 Saturday evening.
Fanshawe drew first blood by winning the first set in extra points 27-25. The next three sets were close but the Falcons fell short as the Knights collected wins of 25-22, 25-20 and 25-23 on route to the match victory.
Niagara and Fanshawe split the two game regular season series with the Falcons winning at home 3-1 on December 4 and the Knights winning on their home court 3-0 on January 22.
“We knew we had to play our best volleyball this weekend. We’ve done that for the first two days and we hope to do it on the third,” said Niagara coach Nathan Groenveld. “The mentorship is good and we have a group of third year players that gone through the national semifinals and that all allowed us to stay composed.”
Rookie outside hitter Cole Jordan took player of the game honours for Niagara with 16 digs, 10 kills and 4 stuff blocks.
Third-year libero Bailey Cochrane added 27 digs and an assist in the Knights victory.
Rookie libero David Gundrum was Fanshawe’s player of the game with 19 digs and an assist in the loss.
Fanshawe can still qualify for a bronze medal with a win against Sheridan Sunday at 9:00 am.
With this win, the Knights have a spot in the CCAA National Championships in Charlottetown, PE, March 12-14.
Niagara advances to the gold medal final against the winner of the Humber and St. Clair semi-final, Sunday at 6:00 pm.