Women’s game marred by ‘very questionable’ calls
George Brown’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams were defeated by the visiting Durham Lords in a double-header in the Alex Barbier gym on Saturday. The women’s team lost 3-0, and the men’s team was defeated 3-1.
The women’s team started the double-header with strong play in the first set, jumping to an early lead. The Lords got the edge after that, with the Huskies keeping it close with fiercely competitive rallies. With the Huskies trailing 23-21, first referee Cecil Clarke awarded a controversial point to the Lords after what looked like George Brown had scored an important kill late in the game. The Huskies maintained their composure to score another point making it 24-22, but the Lords went on to win the first set, 25-22.
In the second set, the Huskies jumped out to a 4-0 lead with some strong serves by Andrea Huckins, who finished the game with a team-high 18 assists. The Huskies had the lead 15-10, at one point in the set but lost 26-24.
In the third and final set, the Huskies once again held the early lead, but couldn’t hold off the surging Lords. Late in the set, referee Clarke was once again a thorn in the side of the Huskies, giving coach Dana Cooke a red card for inappropriately returning a dead ball to second referee, Ali Sharifalam.
“If I’m going to get a red card, I want to throw a chair or something, I want it to be exciting,” said Cooke after the game.
Worse yet was the timing of the call and its effect on the game. “When the officials start influencing the flow of the game based on the timing of a very questionable call, that’s usually when I get upset,” said Cooke.
The men’s team took the first set from the Lords, 26-24, with a strong performance by Pradeep Bhogal, who lead both teams with 28 assists during the match.
In the remaining sets, the Huskies ran into a Lords team with growing confidence and a strong presence at the net. By the end of the match, the Lords had out-blocked the Huskies 11-3, taking three sets in row, 25-20, 25-14, and 25-20.
Next up for both Huskies volleyball teams are road games on Jan. 20 against the Loyalist College Lancers.