Huskies aim to keep rolling after statement win, 2-0 home stand

Men’s volleyball team coming off its best performance of 2017


Ink was spilled not long ago on how George Brown’s men’s volleyball team weren’t making life easy for themselves. While they didn’t always take the easy road on their recent home stand, the end results have the Huskies on a roll.

Coming off a dramatic five-set victory over a scrappy Centennial side (1-13), the Huskies went home to face another struggling squad in Loyalist (2-13). Rather than begin with momentum, Jan. 25th’s first two sets were disastrous. Loyalist shocked with a 25-10 first set win, and while the second set was a tighter affair, the home side still found themselves in a 0-2 hole.

At this point, the Huskies presented their own version of ‘cue the comeback’, and his name is Yuseph Jackman.

From the moment the outside hitter (OH) was inserted in the third, the game changed. Whether on the court or the bench, the second-year athlete serves as an emotional core of the team, and his performance had an immediate effect.

“I think we just needed some fight, some drive,” said Jackman. “I don’t think it’s a skill issue. Our team just has to find what motivates them to win.”

By game’s end, the OH had seven kills and three digs to his name. While other players had more in these and other categories, it was Jackman who players and varsity staff alike gave much of the credit for the comeback win (10-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-22, 17-15).

“Yuseph, he brings a really good positive energy when he’s getting going, and then he can really get other guys fired up,” said Huskies assistant coach Oscar Kahu. “It made a difference. Other guys were feeding off of it”.

Both Jackman and Kahu spoke of the win’s importance, given George Brown’s Jan. 27 game against the Seneca Sting (6-8). Though possessing championship talent and aspirations, George Brown has looked vulnerable in 2017. But after the win against Loyalist, Kahu remarked upon how the Huskies were “coming in hot, we’re coming in ready”, and it showed from the first serve vs. Seneca.

“Everyone was playing to their best,” said Huskies middle Ahmed Youssef, who ended the game with 11 kills and 14 points. “What we expect is what happened tonight. Previous games that we’ve lost, it’s us just not meeting our requirements and our expectations”.

Both sides were ready for battle, but George Brown consistently displayed the second effort needed to seize the advantage. Rather than wallow in self-pity after a questionable call ended the third, George Brown returned in the fourth set with icy determination. The result was their most decisive win of the four-set match (25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20).

When asked if the match was a statement game, Huskies head coach Garrett May was emphatic.

“Absolutely,” said May. “The way we played on Wednesday, we needed something like this. The way we played tonight was how I envision this team playing. Not so much as a statement to the league, but to ourselves, that we’re capable of being something great and I felt like we were tonight.”

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Huskies aim to keep rolling after statement win, 2-0 home stand