George Brown’s refusal to throw in the towel represents important progress
Heading into Saturday afternoon, George Brown’s women’s volleyball team had the wind of an inspired come-from-behind victory in their sails. Unfortunately, that momentum was no match for the buzzsaw of the East.
The visiting Durham Lords showed once more why they’re the division’s lone undefeated team, with a strong 3-0 (25-17, 25-8, 25-19) victory over the Huskies.
To George Brown’s credit, the hosts hung in tough before Durham pulled away to a 25-17 win. Come the second set however, the Lords proceeded to up the ante. With a remarkable display of decisiveness, Durham pushed the pace to a level the Huskies simply couldn’t match. The result was George Brown’s second-lowest single-set total of the season, one trumped only by a 25-7 effort against these same Durham Lords on Nov. 24.
Though Saturday featured none of the previous game’s magic, the Huskies did play with more fight in their 25-19 third set loss to end the match. George Brown’s record may have fallen to 3-8, but the team’s refusal to throw in the towel again represented a marked difference from earlier performances.
“The only thing that really got us was that when (Durham) went on a serving run, we let them go on a serving run for a little too long,” said Huskies assistant coach Jackie Tait. “It was a little too hard to chip back all the way, but I don’t think the team ever gave up.”
Tait was firm in her hope that the Huskies won’t forget their continuing progress. If third-year veteran Audrey Chau is any indication, the assistant coach has no need to worry.
“People have their on and off days,” said Chau, who posted 17 digs while serving as George Brown’s libero. “We’re not going to let this one loss get to us. Honestly, all the girls on our team, we have heart and today they were just a better team than us.”
Just as George Brown never gave up, the Lords never took their foot off the gas. While Durham’s 11-0 record places them atop the East Division, head coach Tony Clarke wasn’t worried about overconfidence.
“We always say that everybody wants to take us down,” said Clarke. “Every point we get, every win we get, the target on our back becomes bigger. We don’t want to come across being complacent and being okay with what we’re doing. We’re trying to be better and get better”.
Next up for the Lords is second-place Algonquin, the only opponent Durham has needed five sets to beat. Despite noting the road trip’s difficulty, Lords outside hitter Allison Marshall gave more emphasis to the state of her team going in.
“I think because we’ve been playing so strong, not only winning but playing well as a team, we’re going to go into that game confident, feeling good,” said Marshall, after her match-high 12-kill performance against George Brown. “It’s a hard gym to play in. We’ve always had tough wins in that gym, but I think we’re all pretty confident we’ll get the win for that one.”