Hawks women’s volleyball team sweeps Sheridan to remain undefeated

Jan 29, 2024 | Headlines, Sports

The Humber Hawks women’s volleyball team is keeping the pedal on the gas, sweeping Sheridan Bruins three sets to zero on Jan. 24.

It’s a rivalry as old as time among Ontario college athletics, the 4-10 Bruins put up a fight as expected, but they were no match to the now 16-0 Hawks.

Head coach Chris Wilkins said the focus for that game was making sure his team was working hard and keeping the momentum going.

“We’re in a pattern right now and know where we stand, even though we’re still winning, and we’re proud of that, but we got stuff to work on,” he said.

While the team has a lot to brag about, Wilkins said he is proud of his team remaining humble.

“They’re a great group of girls,” he said. “They work hard for each other and keep each other humble. If they’re not humble, someone else is going to work harder than them.

“We have our eye on a pretty big prize,” Wilkins said. “It’s easy to be humble right now.”

Nationally, the Hawks are ranked third. Humber’s right side, Te-Anna Stephenson, a veteran for the team, said they want to move higher.

“It was just to play at our level and be consistent because we set a standard for ourselves,” she said. “We don’t want to drop down to the level of other team’s levels. We want to keep playing at our pace.”

The rookie Caitlyn Labelle jumping and deflecting the ball in the Hawks versus Sherdian game.

Rookie Caitlyn Labelle deflecting the ball in the Hawks versus Sheridan game as Te-Anna Stephenson looks on. Humber won the match 3-0 to remain 16-0. Photo credit: Humber Hawks/Kyle Gilmor

Regarding the team’s consistency, their chemistry on and off the court is not a secret. Stephenson said it is one of the reasons for their spark.

“From September till now, the bonds we’ve built with one another have just gotten better, and it’s progressed,” she said. “We have to create our own energy on our side of the court and just play our game.”

The Hawks emphasized working hard no matter what the score displayed.

“Hard work and not getting ahead of ourselves are our biggest things. We are making sure that we’re working harder than anybody else between the whistles,” said Coach Wilkins.

Leah Serlin waiting for the ball to be served.

Leah Serlin waiting for the ball to be served. The Hawks took rival Sheridan three straight sets on Jan. 24. Photo credit: Humber Hawks/Kyle Gilmor

Leah Serlin, the outside hitter veteran, said until they hit the finish line, they always have something to work on.

“We have to continue to work and strive for the bigger picture in mind. We’re always working for something harder and bigger than us,” she said.

Wilkins said Sheridan played well, even if the score didn’t reflect it.

“They’ve got some talented players over there, and their middles are really strong,” he said. “Their setting’s good. We had to make sure that we contained those players.”

“We didn’t allow them to go off, so we did a good job of that,” Wilkins said.

He also praised his rookies and veterans for getting along.

“The recruiting class this year are hungry; they want to be out there and play, so they’re going to push the veterans, and they work well together,” he said. “It takes a lot of sacrifice to be a part of this team. I’ve challenged them to stay at that high level no matter what the scores are, and they’re doing a good job of that.”

Serlin said everyone, whether on or off the court, is engaged. Communicating their roles helped close the game, she said.

“Depending on how much you get in a game, even if it’s just serving one ball or playing the whole game, everyone has a role on the team, and just doing your job and taking care of that helps us to be a cohesive unit,” she said.

The Hawks remain the only undefeated team in the OCAA. They host the Conestoga Condors on Feb 1.

The last time these two teams met, the Hawks took the win. The Condors will look to redeem themselves while the Hawks intend to keep their clean sheet.