Fanshawe captures silver at OCAA men's volleyball championships

Photo of Alain Pineault spiking a volleyball. CREDIT: FANSHAWE FALCONS
The Falcons took home the silver after a tough loss to Humber, still advancing to nationals. Pictured: Alain Pineault.

On Feb. 25, the Fanshawe Falcons earned the silver medal at the OCAA volleyball championships.

The event, which was hosted by Fanshawe, took place over three days (Feb. 22-25), where the Falcons faced Redeemer, Cambrian, and Humber. In the end, Humber came away with their OCAA gold in a row.

“It was pretty neat to host it at home and have many people out, friends and family, and playing in front of such a big crowd,” said head coach Patrick Johnston, who then went on to talk about the pros and cons of playing at home.

The Fanshawe College Student Services and Here For You logos are shown. A young woman is shown sitting at a desk. Text states: Supoort comes in many forms. Experience flexible services that support you where you are.

“It’s better in some ways, because you don’t have people really cheering against you, but it’s nerve-wracking playing in front of so many people. You don’t want to disappoint anyone and send the crowd home unhappy.”

After defeating the Redeemer Royals 3-0 in the quarterfinals and beating the Cambrian Golden Shield in a closer 3-2 match, the Falcons moved on to face the Humber Hawks in the finals.

The match, which was held in front of a sold-out crowd at Fanshawe’s Glenn Johnston Athletic Centre, started off strong for the Falcons with great performances from Tanner Paterson and Daniel Ridings. Humber ultimately took the first match 25-21 after their defense settled in to help them take the lead.

Fanshawe did recover in the second set, taking the lead after a stellar outing from fifth-year captain Sebastian Lethbridge. After a hard-fought match, the Falcons came away with a second set win of 25-23.

“I’d say we’ve got pretty good leadership,” said Johnston. “Our two captains have been around the program for a while and were able to keep us calm during the match. Their leadership shone through and allowed us a way to get through it.”

Heading into the third set, Humber led off with the advantage. Despite Fanshawe’s best efforts to mount a comeback, Humber held on to their lead and won 25-22.

In the fourth set, both teams had strong attacks from their key players. The Falcons set the pace with a kill from Alain Pineault mid-way through the frame.

With the set tied at 21, Humber had massive back-to-back hits to put the Hawks ahead. Humber would hold on to the lead and take the fourth set 25-23 to capture the gold medal match 3-1.

“I think we realized leaving the final that we need to serve a bit tougher, which is tough because it means we’re gonna miss more. That’s just a kind of risk we have to take going to nationals and playing against better teams.”

The player of the match for Humber was Jaskarn Kalsi with 15 points and Ridings for the Falcons with 13 points.

Fanshawe’s Lethbridge and Voght were named OCAA Tournament All-Stars for their strong weekend performances.

With the team now advancing to the CCAA nationals hosted by Humber College in Etobicoke and soon to wrap up their competitive year, they set their sights forward.

“One of the not-so-nice things about nationals is that it’s the end of the year and you have to give that yearend speech,” said Johnston. “I just try to make sure that I’m always appreciative of the guys that came in and dedicated six nights a week for most of the year. The hope is that when they put that jersey back down, that they leave it in a better place than when they’d first picked it up.”