The St. Thomas University men’s volleyball team traveled to Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. to compete in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association men’s volleyball national championship. They were able to clinch their spot after a thrilling upset on their home turf during the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association finals, taking down the Holland College Hurricanes.
“Winning the ACAAs at home despite being the third seed is a tremendous accomplishment,” said STU athletics director Mike Eagles in an email.
“They are very young and got better all-season long.”
The Tommies’ first game came against the Titans de Limoiluo. The Tommies played hard but were overpowered by the Titans, losing the match in three straight sets. Adam Hamilton and Garret Dickson lead the way for their team with five kills each.
The Tommies’ second game was against the Keyano Huskies. Once again, the Tommies struggled, losing the match 3-0. Christian Christie lead the way with seven kills with Ryan Dickson right behind with five. Jonah Burridge had nine digs.
STU’s final game would come against the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Trojans in a placement match. The Trojans would take the match 3-1, wrapping up the Tommies national championship experience. The team finished eighth in the standings.
“I feel our team performed well,” said Nick Jackson.
“Our team gained experience throughout the tournament and began to perform better and better as the tournament went along.”
Eagles was very proud of the team despite coming up short.
“This has been a great season for our Men’s Volleyball team. Coach [Henri] Mallet has done a great job with this group,” said Eagles.
“Going 0-3 at the CCAAs should help motivate this young team to push themselves to get up to the next level required to have success at the CCAAs. Coach Mallet has clearly stated that a National Title is what the goal for the end of the program is.”
Even though the Tommies were unable to capture a victory, they had a great experience representing their school at the highest level.
“It was amazing going back to B.C.,” said Christian Christie, a first-year originally from B.C.
“We had a really young team going into the tournament … The other teams were much older than we were and that showed as we struggled at times to compete.”
Christie said it was a good learning point for the younger players on the team as they were able to see the level of the top teams in the country.
“Getting the chance to represent St. Thomas at nationals is an honor,” said Nick Jackson.
“We know that not everyone is as fortunate enough to get to represent our university on the national stage … We as a team made sure to represent [St. Thomas] to the best of our abilities, on and off the court.”