ETOBICOKE, Ont –- No. 5 Humber (16-2, 2nd West) will move on to the OCAA Men’s Volleyball final after a four-set victory over the Niagara Knights (11-7, 4th West), 22-25, 25-10, 25-21, and 25-22 Friday night, at Humber College.
Humber came out hot to start the opening set establishing a quick 5-1 lead. Niagara was able to fight their way back tying things back up at seven. Niagara went on a four-point run with two points coming off of aces by setter Benjamin Filmore putting them up 11-8 leading to Humber calling a timeout. The Hawks would manage to tie thing back up at 14 following three straight points capped off by an ace by Dylan Devesceri. The team went back and forth until a 4-0 run by the Knight led by two points by Jaydon Milne put Niagara up 22-18. The Knights were able to close out the set with Micah Nieuwets scoring his team final three-point as Niagara took a tight set 25-22.
The Hawks would again come out to start the set strong, going up 6-2 with Rafael Hilario and John Obi combing to score four points. Another 6-2 run for Humber would put them up 13-6 later in the set leading to a Knights timeout. Niagara was unable to stop the Hawks runs giving up another 7-1 run capped of by a Kamyn Wilkins kill, leading to another Niagara timeout now down 20-8. Humber proved to be too much for the Knights in the second as they took the second set handily 25-10 to tie things up at one set apiece.
The third started out with both team trading points, Jake Gomes helped Humber put together the first run of the set with a block followed up by an ace. A Devesceri kill followed up by another Gomes ace gave the Hawks a lead 13-8 as Niagara took their first timeout. The Knights answered with a 9-3 run following the break and tied the set up at 16 with Milne and Nieuwets leading the comeback. Humber would take the momentum moments later, with a block at the net by Gomes followed by a huge Wilkins ace. Niagara failed to take back control of the set and dropped the set 25-21 following a Hilario kill, giving Humber the 2-1 set lead.
The two sides remained close the entire fourth set as neither side could break things open. With both sides still all tied at 20 points in the set it was going to come to down to which team made the first run. Humber called their first timeout following a huge kill by Elijah Bugiardini making the score 21-20 for Niagara. A Knights’ service error followed by an Andrew Blakey block gave Humber back the lead and the momentum. Both teams exchanged points before a Jake Gomes kill put Humber onto match point. Dylan Devesceri delivered a huge kill on the next possession giving Humber the three sets to one victory.
Second-year libero Robert Zalewski was named the player of the game for the Knights, finishing with ten digs and three assists.
Second-year setter Jake Gomes was named the player of the game for the Hawks, finishing with 42 assists and ten points on four kills, three aces and three blocks.
Humber will now face the Fanshawe Falcons in the OCAA gold medal game, the second straight year this two teams will vie for the OCAA crown. First serve is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Niagara will take on the Niagara Knights in the bronze medal game at 2 p.m.