By Kajan Thiruthanikasalam
Add the Centennial Colts varsity women’s volleyball team to the list of teams from Centennial that have made a remarkable turnaround this season compared to last.
After finishing 3-17 last season and finishing second last in the OCAA East, the Colts have improved their record by seven games, finishing 10-8, and ended up in fifth place in the OCAA East.
Centennial made their presence known early this season, winning four straight games after losing their season opener. The young team was up to the challenge in every game, despite playing powerhouses like Durham, Georgian and Algonquin.
Hitter Tryscelle Lin led Centennial with 210 kills and 3.28 kills per set. Her numbers ranked second in the OCAA. Lin also led Centennial with 249 points and 3.9 points per set. The rookie hitter was also named the OCAA East Division Rookie of the Year and was named to the OCAA All-Rookie Team.
In her final year at Centennial College, setter Brittany Somers finished fourth in the OCAA in service aces (42), service aces per set (0.27), and assists (413). Somers also ranked fifth in the OCAA in assists per set with 7.51.
Left back (libero) Kadeisha Powell-Graham led the Colts with 139 digs and was tied with hitter Mari Pikkov with 2.17 digs per set. Middle Emily Joe led the team in blocks solo with 20.
Lin, Pikkov, and Powell-Graham were named OCAA East Division Second Team All-Stars.
The Colts made it to the postseason and had an opportunity to qualify for the 2017 OCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships at St. Clair College but had to head to London to play their crossover match against the Fanshawe Falcons, who also finished 10-8, albeit in the OCAA West. The winner would advance to provincials.
Although the Lady Colts fought hard, they lost in straight sets to the Falcons (25-18, 25-20, 25-20).
Bigger things are expected out of the Colts, with Centennial hosting the 2018 OCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships.
Although they will get an automatic berth due to being the hosts, ask any of the Colts players and they’ll say they would want to earn their way into provincials.
The Colts men’s volleyball program was in a rebuilding season, fighting hard each time in just their second year back in the OCAA.
Although Centennial took a step back in the standings, finishing last in the OCAA East with a 1-17 record and lost their last 17 games of the season after winning their season opener, the Colts did not go down quietly.
During one game, the Colts had the crowd going, almost pulling off an upset in the second semester against the eventual fourth seeded George Brown Huskies of the OCAA East. However, they eventually fell in a gruelling five sets (25-21, 24-26, 25-19, 22-25, 15-12).
Outside (position) Ethan Peter, outside Steve Facca, and middle Justin Smith had solid seasons and provided the team with a veteran presence in their final years at Centennial College.
Peter led the Colts in points per set (2.7), points (173), kills (160), and kills per set (2.5). Smith led the Colts in kill percentage with 24 per cent while Facca paced Centennial with 100 digs and 1.75 digs per set.
Setter Matthew Wallace, thrown into a new position at the beginning of the second semester, fared very well given the circumstances. Wallace led the Colts with 243 assists and 10 service aces. Middle Jason Fillion led Centennial with 21 blocks solo.
A job well done for all of the Colts teams! Expect bigger things to come next season.