Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: MELANIE POPE
Fanshawe's women's volleyball team celebrated its first medal in three years and its first silver in the program's history. Congrats!

The women's volleyball team finished off the season by bringing back a medal — the first since 2011, and the first silver medal in the program's history.

Head coach Mark Peckham was happy with the team's result.

“It felt fantastic. It's a testament to the hard work that we've not only put in this past year, but the past two years,” he explained. “We had an excellent chance of doing something special with [my first two] years, but as I found out, it's very difficult to medal at the championships.”

“It's a tough tournament with a lot of good teams and just makes it very satisfying to finish the year off on a very good note.” Peckham also credited adding assistant coach Josh Westgate to the roster.

“The real tipping point was adding Josh Westgate to the coaching staff,” he said. “He brought a lot of experience and experience that was needed. His support can't be underestimated or undervalued because he offered a lot of great insight and help for the year.”

A high turnover rate could make building a solid team difficult, however.

“Recruiting is probably the most difficult part of the job. You work really hard at it and put in a lot of time, but you don't necessarily get the results,” Peckham explained. “Fanshawe's a great place because there's a lot of different programs and a lot of academic choices, but when you're [competing against] schools that offer some scholarship incentives on top of that, it makes it difficult to land some of those top prospects.”

Winning silver was a testament to the talent and dedication of the team.

“The girls on the team have worked really hard. I've been really pleased with the effort that they put in,” he said. “Not only practices at night, but training in the weight room at 6 a.m. three times a week.”

“The team worked really hard, they bought into our system and it was one of those things where the chemistry was really right,” Peckham continued. “Everyone got along and pushed each other to get better every day.”

Peckham easily pinpointed just what the team did well and what he'd like to work on for next season.

“From the start, I think we played with speed,” he said. “Our ball control was better than the past years, and when you have good ball control, you can run faster offence and, we're not the biggest team, but that really kept our opponents off-balance and something we'll continue to work on.”

“We've got some holes to fill, I think there's some turnover this year that we'll try to get some girls in for next year that will keep the momentum going, but it's always a challenge.”

For him, winning the semi-final against Seneca was Peckham's best moment as coach this season.

“It was our third time at it, and it's so hard getting to the championship final and to finally break through that barrier was immensely satisfying and very gratifying,” he said.

The goal, as always is to medal.

“We'll look at our personnel next year and discuss expectations, but the ultimate goal is to win the championship,” said Peckham.

Tryouts for the team will be during the first week of September.