Humber takes national volleyball silver after losing to Camosun Chargers

Mar 12, 2023 | Headlines, Sports

It was not a happy night for the Humber men’s volleyball team.

The Humber Hawks, who had won the 2022 OCAA provincial championship, suffered a clean sweep 3-0 loss to the Camosun Chargers yesterday night.

The Chargers from the Victoria, B.C., college won the CCAA gold medal for the second year in a row. They came into nationals with a Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) provincial record of 19-1. This dominated over Humber’s 13-5 Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) provincial record of 13-5.

Both teams won their respective provincial championships.

The game was not one-sided and very competitive, but the Chargers always seemed one step ahead of the Hawks. The set scores were, respectively, 19-25, 22-25, and 20-25.

Humber veteran setter Jake Gomes serves the ball toward the Camosun Chargers at the CCAA championship match on March 11, 2023.

Humber veteran setter Jake Gomes serves the ball toward the Camosun Chargers at the CCAA championship match on March 11, 2023. Photo credit: Humber Athletics/Diego Guillen

Humber assistant coach Mack Robertson said it was not the performance they hoped for and they didn’t quite rise to the occasion.

“We did so well. From second semester on, we went 12 and one, and we did so many good things, and got better and better every game, [and] every match,” Robertson said.

“The guys worked so hard,” he said.

Robertson said he is very proud of the Hawks team for how hard they worked, and said it was awesome to be in this game. He also said the coaches’ job with college students is to build them up, help them learn, and prepare them to move on with their lives.

“You learn a lot by winning and you learn more by losing and we’re gonna do what we can and be ready for the next one,” he said.

Robertson praised his team for performing well under pressure but said Camosun was just a little better at that.

“We just could not break through. We couldn’t get them back on their heels and they kept pressing us,” he said.

Humber middle blocker Jaskarn Kalsi, who was crowned the Player of the Match, felt defeated by the loss.

“It’s tough to hold my head high. But I’ll do it for myself and I’ll do it for the guys, the guys coming back next year,” Kalsi said.

Kalsi said it was nice to be the player of the game but the reality is people do not remember individual players winning awards as much as the team that won the championship.

“It’s not the one [award] I wanted,” he said.

“We had an okay level of play, both personally and as a team but collectively we just weren’t able to go on runs and stop runs as much as we should have,” Kalsi said. “That’s what ultimately cost us [the win]. But it is what it is, you live and you learn.”

To improve for next season, Kalsi said the team should work on continuing to perfect blocking and defense.

“We gotta work on a whole lot before we win a gold medal,’ he said.

Kalsi was also given the 2023 OCAA First-Team All-Star award.

The Camosun Chargers did not lose a single game in the CCAA championship held at Humber’s North campus.

Chargers head coach Kelvin Ma, who in his first season at the helm, said Saturday’s match was their best of the year.

“We had two days to prepare, [and] the warmups, and practices were very good,” Ma said.

Ma said his team has played good teams all season, and have done thorough preparation for the championship.

“I don’t think this weekend was particularly better than the others. But I think our championship performance was really good,” he said.

Ma said right up until Christmas break, they were trying to figure out their identity, and from January on, they were comfortable. By the playoff season, they felt like a team. They are losing key players, and learning lessons from that, but they are confident for next year and excited to host.

“I think the people we have on the bench are capable of taking over,” he said.

The Camosun Chargers win the 2023 CCAA gold medal after defeating the Humber Hawks on March 11, 2023.

The Camosun Chargers win the 2023 CCAA gold medal after defeating the Humber Hawks on March 11, 2023. Photo credit: Diego Guillen/ Humber Hawks

Camosun setter Lucas Maffia, who was awarded the Player of the Match for his team, scored 21 assists, eight digs, and four kills.

He said his skills improved significantly throughout the season.

“We had an assistant coach specifically for setting and he helped me a lot with little things all season long,” Maffia said.

He said he is headed to a different school next season.

“It’s kind of bittersweet, this win, but I’ll continue to develop and maybe get a medal over there as well,” Maffia said.

Chargers right side Jordan Fulljames, a rookie, called tonight’s game ecstatic.

“Going into it, we were all prepared for a win. That was our mentality,” Fulljames said.

He said his team would not have allowed anything else, and the hard work throughout the season paid off.

“In practice, it was always intense, and when it wasn’t, all the guys were honest to make sure we were prepared for this moment exactly,” Fulljames said.

He is proud to be part of this team. He wants to stick with the Chargers, considering how high up they are in British Columbia, and in Canada.

The 2023 CCAA gold medal Camosun follows the gold in 2022 and 2015, as well as taking home a bronze in 2009.