Humber womens volleyball get set for No. 6
By Andrew Millichamp
The reigning five-time OCAA Champion women’s volleyball team has started its quest for a sixth straight Ontario championship.
With the preseason underway in a lead up to their season opener on Nov. 1, the Humber Hawks will welcome new members to the team, as well as seeing some familiar faces, as they do battle against their alumni this Saturday at 6 p.m.
“It’s nice for the current athletes to see the foundation that’s been built for them by the players that played in the past,” Chris Wilkins, the Hawks longtime head coach told Humber News. “We always have a great turnout [of returning alumni].”
LISTEN: Hawks coach Chris Wilkins talks to Humber News.
This year’s players have big shoes to fill, after last year’s OCAA Championship they went on to finish fourth at nationals, Wilkins thinks they’re up to the task.
“Ultimately like every year our goal is to win another championship and to compete for a national championship.” said Wilkins. “I think we have the ability to do that. We have some real qualified rookies who have come in and plus with our core of returners, we look to defend another championship.”
The Hawks lost several key players last year to graduation. The team is now moving forward without both of its co-captains from last year. But Wilkins feels some of the returning talent will be able to fill that leadership void.
“We’ve got some exceptional people stepping up into those leadership roles like Kelly Nyhof and Laura Bye and Nina Carino.”
Kelly Nyhof, the reigning OCAA Player of the Year is in her fourth year with the team. Both Bye and Carino are in their fifth season.
The process of gelling a team takes time, said Wilkins however he expects this team to come together quickly.
Overall Wilkins feels he’s got a team that is capable of winning a sixth straight championship.
“We’re pretty excited about the group. It’s a nice mix between returners and rookies who are really going to push each other for playing time. “