By Ted Beale
(WINDSOR, ON) – The St. Clair Saints will play for their first ever medal after they defeated the Humber Hawks 3-1 in the OCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship semi-finals Saturday evening at the SportsPlex. With the home crowd advantage behind them, the Saints controlled the first two sets with wins of 25-20 and 25-23.
The Hawks bounced back in the third set winning 25-15, but in the fourth the Saints punched their ticket for the gold medal game when they won the fourth set 25-22, overcoming a 19-15 deficit for the dramatic win.
St. Clair and Humber split the two-game season series with the Hawks winning at home 3-0 on November 23 and the Saints returned the favour, winning on their home court 3-0 on January 31.
“We have to keep up the intensity and keep the crowd with us. They were like the seventh man out there tonight,” said St. Clair coach Robert Lynch. “We’re playing really well so far and we have to keep pushing it.”
Third-year Libero Josh Rankine was the Saints player of the game with 16 digs and 2 assists.
Fifth-year right side hitter Jason Hernandez was the leader in kills for St. Clair with 14, adding 10 digs and 3 stuff blocks.
Third-year left side hitter Connor West provided 12 digs, 2 assists, and 2 stuff blocks in the Saints win.
Humber’s 5th-year left side hitter Terrel Bramwell was the Hawk’s player of the game with 21 kills and 14 digs in the loss.
Humber can still qualify for a bronze medal with a win against Mohawk Sunday at 11:00 am.
With this win the Saints have a spot in the CCAA National Championships in Charlottetown, PE, March 12-14.
They will also play for their first ever medal on Sunday against Niagara at 6:00 pm with no worse than a silver medal.