Boundless energy: Men’s volleyball team plays with hearts on their sleeves

Head coach Garrett May says the experience has been incredible

An electrifying experience awaits those watching George Brown’s men’s volleyball team. Between the emphatic yells, Huskies chants and dramatic bench reactions, the squad makes its passion abundantly clear.

While their exuberance has earned stern looks and finger wags from officials, this is a team which seems to do best when loud, animated and mildly madcap. The team’s mentality of enjoying the moment is something head coach Garrett May says you don’t often see, and one he prefers over needing to fire them up.

Energy without ability is little more than obnoxious wheel-spinning. Luckily, the Huskies have both. Middle blocker Ahmed Youssef’s 22-block solos are the fourth highest in the Ontario Colleges Athletics Association, four-year Huskies veteran D’Artaniel Jackman ranks second in total kills, and the team as a whole displays a strong, aggressive style more often than not.

Boundless energy can go off the rails, and George Brown was riding a two-game losing streak before winning a 3-2 thriller against Fleming on Nov. 29. Key for this squad will be channeling their energy into hard work and, as Huskies outside hitter Raymond Tantengco put it, recklessness.

“I feel like we were in a bit of a slump, we lost two games in a row, we didn’t perform well in Durham and here we just came out reckless,” Tantengco said after the win. “Last game of the semester, we just had to give it our all.”

Aggression and risk-taking are qualities May believes will win games when things are tight. For the head coach, who is in his first year, the team’s 5-4 record speaks to a competitive squad, one which will be in the thick of things all season.

Of course, it also shows room for improvement.

“We got a lot of work to do,” said Jackman. “We had some great matches and some really horrible ones. We’ve identified what we need to work on, so we’re going to take this break and come back in next semester much stronger than now.”

A distinguished athlete at both the university and national level, May said the experience coaching the Huskies has been incredible. With nine games and counting at the Huskies’ helm, he couldn’t help but convey excitement when talking about the last few months.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect when coming in, but I’m so glad with how the reception’s been and how things have turned out.” said May. “This is a really fun league to be a part of, so I’m just enjoying every minute.”

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Boundless energy: Men’s volleyball team plays with hearts on their sleeves