The Fanshawe Men's Volleyball team traveled to Victoria, British Columbia for the CCAA Men's Volleyball National Championship hosted by Camosun College last weekend.
The Falcons came home with a CCAA silver medal, making history, as this is the first time that a Fanshawe Volleyball team has captured a National silver medal.
In the quarterfinal match on Thursday versus the Vancouver Island (VIU) Mariners, Fanshawe won in five sets.
The Falcons dropped the first set in a tight 26-24 contest. They would quickly regroup however and go up 5-0 to open the second set. Fanshawe was able to maintain that lead throughout the second set with great serving from Zach Albert (Brampton, ON) and went on to win 25-16.
The third set saw the Mariners get on the board first, but Fanshawe would go on a run of their own that was sparked by a block from middle Mike Liscumb (Ilderton, ON). The Falcons maintained that momentum and took a 2-1 set lead, claiming the third by a score of 25-19.
VIU came out strong in the fourth and had a four point lead late in the set. A kill by Sam Otten (Delaware, ON) got the Falcons going and the birds were able to tie the score at 22. Unfortunately, the Mariners were able to hang on and take a 25-23 win to force a fifth and deciding set.
Will Otten (Delaware, ON) opened the scoring for Fanshawe in the final set with a right side attack. The Falcons took a 12-8 advantage after a long rally that resulted in a Fanshawe point. The Falcons would finish the match on a kill from Liscumb to take the set 15-10, and the match 3-2.
CCAA All-Canadian, Cole Jordan (London, ON) was named Player of the Match for Fanshawe, recording 15 points. Fanshawe Head Coach Patrick Johnston commented, “VIU were a very tough opponent that made great adjustments mid-match but the guys gutted it out when it got tight and finished the job”.
On Friday evening in the National semi-final against the Géants de Saint-Jean, Fanshawe came away with a 3-1 victory.
The Falcons were ready to play in set one, using their well-rounded offense to attack Saint-Jean from all angles. Strong serving from Sam Otten got the Falcons out to a five point lead. Albert extended Fanshawe's lead to 22-13 with an outstanding service ace. Sam Otten would then finish it off with a huge kill, as the Falcons took the first set 25-16. In the second frame, Saint-
Jean stepped up their game, as they went up 6-2. Back-to-back aces from Sam Otten got the Falcons back on track, as they tied the score at 11. The teams exchanged points, unfortunately Fanshawe would fall short and drop the second set 29-27.
The third set was back and forth until midway through when Falcons setter Sebastian Lethbridge (London, ON) had an outstanding stuff block that gave Fanshawe a slim 13-11 advantage. The Birds would hold on to that lead and go on to win the third set 25-18.
Fanshawe was able to gain a slight advantage late in the fourth frame with a massive left side kill from Jordan. The Falcons would use that momentum and close the match on a kill from Albert to take the set 25-23 and the match 3-1.
Sam Otten was named Player of the Match for Fanshawe, as he had an incredible 8 service aces to go along with 14 kills. Albert added 16 kills, 2 aces and 2 blocks.
In Fanshawe Volleyball's first ever CCAA National final on Saturday evening, the Falcons suffered their first loss of the season, falling to the Titans de Limoilou 3-1, claiming the silver medal.
The match started with the Falcons jumping out to an early five point lead with brilliant serving from Sam Otten. Fanshawe maintained their lead throughout the set with kills from Jordan and Liscumb. Limoilou attempted to make a run of their own, but digs from Fanshawe libero David Gundrum (Port Elgin, ON) kept the Birds in control. The Falcons won the first set 25-18.
Limoilou struck first in the second set, gaining a three point advantage. The Falcons stayed within reach, as Lethbridge quarterbacked the Falcons offensive attack. Unfortunately, the Titans were able to hold on to take the second set 25-22.
Limoilou used that momentum in the third set, where they were able to get a large lead. Fanshawe battled back with a left side attack from Will Otten, followed by a stuff block from Albert to try to spark a run, however the Falcons could not recover and fell 25-22.
The two teams exchanged points throughout the fourth set until midway through when the Titans went on a 5-0 run to take the lead that they wouldn't relinquish. Despite Fanshawe's best efforts, Limoilou would go on to win the fourth set 25-19 and the match 3-1.
Lethbridge was named Player of the Match for Fanshawe, recording 30 assists, 3 kills and 7 digs. Jordan and Lethbridge were named First Team Tournament All-Stars for their outstanding play over the three game tournament, while teammates Sam Otten and Gundrum were named Second Team Tournament All-Stars. Fanshawe finished their season with an outstanding 24-1 record.
The Fanshawe Women's and Men's Indoor Soccer squads will travel to Ancaster March 22-24 for the OCAA Provincial Championships hosted by Redeemer.
The Women's and Men's Curling teams will look to bring home some hardware at the CCAA National Curling Championships in Leduc, Alberta March 24-28. The Fanshawe Men's team are the reigning CCAA National Champions.
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