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Wild weekend for Lakers volleyball

Lakers volleyball

The Nipissing Lakers men’s and women’s volleyball teams got a rollercoaster ride over the past weekend in matches against Redeemer and St. Clair.

Men’s Action

The men’s team started the weekend ranked number one in the nation, and were quickly brought back down to earth, suffering their first loss of the season to the Redeemer Royals. The Royals put in an inspired defensive performance to stun the Lakers at home 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-13).

The Lakers were certainly the more offensive team collecting 11 more kills in the match than their opponents; however, the Royals defence was the difference in this match as they were able to dig up ball after ball.

The Royals have always been a very spirited group and this game was no exception as they carried the intensity most of the match while the Lakers struggled to find their consistency.

Adam Leblanc led the offence for the Lakers with 24 points while Frankie Edgecombe had 17 and Andre Leblanc had 13. Adam was selected the Boston Pizza player of the game.

With almost no time to lick their wounds and reflect on the loss, the men were back in action the next day, facing the much improved St. Clair Saints.

As predicted, it was a very entertaining match that featured some great volleyball.  In the end, the Lakers edged the Saints 3-2 (25-14, 20-25, 29-27, 23-25, 15-9) to improve to 4-1 on the season while the Saints drop to 2-3.

Andre Leblanc was named the Boston Pizza Player of the Game for his solid performance. He led the Lakers offence with 24 point on 18 kills, three aces and three blocks while teammate Scott Coulthard added 20 points.

“We are not a good enough team to go into a West Division match playing below average volleyball,” said head coach Eric Yung. “This was a good wake-up call for us.”

The Lakers are back in action tonight in the Battle of the Bay as their cross campus rivals the Canadore Panthers visit the Surtees gym at 8 p.m.

Women’s Action

On Saturday, the Lakers women’s volleyball team improved to 3-1 on the season with a 3-1 (25-16, 25-12, 18-25, 25-10) victory over the visiting Redeemer Royals.

The Lakers were able to capitalize on some strong serving, resulting in an impressive 21 aces in the match, 16 of which were delivered by first-year players Brittany MacComish, who had nine, and left side Christina Caruso who had eight.

“I thought we served really tough today,” said head coach Marc LaRochelle. “We were able to put a lot of pressure on the Redeemer passers which led to numerous free balls which we converted really well.”

Second year right player Brittany Ardron led the offence with 17 points while Caruso added 15 followed by MacComish with fourteen. Ardron was named the Boston Pizza Player of the game.

The team improved to 4-1 on the season the next day, with a 3-1 (25-7, 25-15, 24-26,25-18) victory over the visiting St. Clair Saints (1-5).

“I thought we got off to a great start,” said coach Marc LaRochelle. “We also got complacent after that and we certainly did not execute to the level we are capable of. The challenge for us right now is to stay focused for an entire match rather than one or two sets.”

Christina Caruso led the Lakers offence with 18 points on 13 kills and five aces followed by Brittany Ardron with 16 points. For the second consecutive game, the Lakers served very well getting 18 aces in the process.

Fourth-year Libero Tressa Vancoillie was named the Boston Pizza Player of the Game.

The Lakers are back in action tonight as they host their cross campus rival the Canadore Panthers at 6 p.m.

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