Saturday, February 28 saw the Niagara College women’s volleyball program capture a bronze medal at the 2014-15 OCAA Championship. The Knights defeated the Trent Excalibur in the bronze medal match in impressive fashion, sweeping their opponents 25-12, 25-21, 25-9.
The medal gives the Niagara College women’s volleyball program its first medal since the 2002-03 season, and Niagara College its first OCAA team medal since a men’s basketball bronze in 2009.
“I’m proud of the way we competed today,” said Niagara College women’s volleyball head coach Joey Martins. “We have a fantastic group of student-athletes in our program, and for those playing in their last game in a Knights’ uniform, an OCAA medal is a nice way to end a career.”
Playing in her final post-secondary volleyball match, fifth-year outside hitter Lucy McLay (Stratford) turned in an outstanding performance. The public relations student finished with nine kills, two service aces, and a block. McLay capped off her 2014-15 season, a year that saw her named a first-team OCAA all-star, with the bronze medal player of the match accolades.
Second-year outside hitter Madison Morgan (Whitby) led the Knights on the score sheet finishing with 12 kills and three aces. Morgan is one of seven graduating student-athletes likely playing in their final match as a Knight.
“Our veteran players really played well today,” added Martins. “It’s a great feeling as a coach when graduating student-athletes play at their best during their final match. It’s how every player wants to finish their career.”
The Knights’ middle blocker tandem of Nicole Schoonderwoerd (Tavistock) and Alexandria Botelho (Stoney Creek) also turned in strong performances in their final game. Botelho finished with six blocks, four kills, and an ace, while Schoonderwoerd added four kills on just ten attempts.
“Winning your final game of the season is always the goal,” added Martins. “Winning a medal in a short competitive Championship is a tough task, and I’m proud of our players and all of the accomplishments.”
The Knights Bronze medal run consisted of a shocking 3-0 upset at the hands of the Cambrian Golden Shield in the their championship opening match. Despite the highly disappointing loss, the Knights regained their composure, and rattled off three straight victories over the Georgian Grizzlies (3-0), Redeemer Royals (3-1), and Trent Excalibur (3-0).
In addition to capturing a Bronze medal, the three day event hosted by the Redeemer Royals, saw Lucy McLay named a first-team all-star, while Nicole Schoonderwoerd was named a second team all-star. First-year setter Bailey Davis was named to the 2014-15 OCAA all-rookie team.