Men's volleyball team remain undefeated
Credit: FANSHAWE ATHLETICS
The men's volleyball team is off to a fantastic start to the year, remaining undefeated after nine matches so far
Patrick Johnston, the head coach of the men's volleyball team, explained that the team has had its share of obstacles and injuries this year but has found a way to persevere. The team recently won a home game on Nov. 29 against the St. Clair Saints with a final game score of 3-0.
Johnston explained that the team is working well together and players are willing to play position that they are unfamiliar with in order to assist the team.
“David Gundrum has done an amazing job stepping in to set for us in a position he has never played before coming to Fanshawe. We also had Will Otten set during two matches for us, which is something he has never done before. In face of all the adversity, the guys have really persevered,” Johnston said.
Johnston said that the team's goals have remained the same: to win the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) Provincial Championships and move on to win the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championships. This year's OCAA Provincial Championships will take place at Georgian College in Barrie from Feb. 21 to 24. The winning team of the provincial tournament will qualify for the National Championships on Vancouver Island from Mar. 7 to 10.
“What I'm most looking forward to this year is seeing our team grow as a program. We are looking forward to competing at the OCAA Provincial Championships. Hopefully we win [provincials] and have the opportunity to travel out west to play for the National Championship. We have been to Nationals the past two years and it would be great to go back and this time bring home the gold medal,” Gundrum said.
In addition, the team will be participating in two tournament throughout the month of January. The first tournament is the 38th Annual Excalibur Volleyball Classic at York University in Toronto from Jan. 4 to 6. According to Johnston, it is a rare occurrence for a college team to be invited to the tournament.
Otten said that he is looking forward to playing in the York University tournament. Before coming to Fanshawe, Otten studied at Ryerson University and will have the opportunity to play against his old team.
Johnston explained that the team is also going to return to an annual tournament in Boston, Ma. from Jan. 11 to 14. The team will travel to the United States to play against four of the top 15 men's volleyball teams in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). One of the team that the Falcons will be competing against in the tournament is the Springfield College men's volleyball team, who were the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III National Champions.
“It will be a really great opportunity for us to play some really tough matches,” Johnston said.