Men’s volleyball team dreaming of gold

Women’s team noting small improvements as they look for their first win of the season.

The men’s volleyball team, under the leadership of veteran Dart Jackman, has a new mindset and a goal of provincial gold.

Out of the gates with a strong 6-2 record heading into their Dec. 6 match-up against Centennial, Jackman said that the team is feeling “empowered” and their record shows it.

“We have a different mindset entirely this year,” he said. “Especially coming into the season with the same players, we’re way more confident and we’re building on what we did last year.” 

Of the 15 players on the Huskies roster, only four are in their first year with the team. Jackman, along with veteran Neon Ng, are the longest-serving members of the team. 

To be the elder statesman of the team, or as Jackman called it, the “dad” of the team, is a role that the he seems to be embracing.

“My job really is just to make sure everyone is on the straight and narrow,” Jackman said. “I’m kind of seen as the dad because I’m a little older than everyone else so they look up to me so I try to be the best possible example for them.” 

For Jackman, getting a win against Centennial is not just about ending the first half of the season on a high note, it’s about moving the team closer to the goal of gold at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association finals.

“For us it’s not so much winning to close out the first half, but a win now means a better seed later in the season,” he said.

Still seeking their first win, the 0-8 women’s volleyball team is focusing on building the groundwork for the program, something that head coach Daphne Choi said has been put in place since the beginning of the season.

“Our players know what their goals are and they’ve worked very hard on that teamwork aspect and team support aspect and laying down those fundamental team-based aspects for next year.”

With the team finishing 4-14 during the regular season last year, and Choi taking the reins after the recruiting period was already passed for this season, expectations for the team were measured this year. But still, Choi said that the team is making improvements.

“We try to draw this as an improvement goal. And the way that we draw it is that we don’t expect to see gigantic improvements, we want to see this slow, gradual build of improvements that is more stable.” 

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Men’s volleyball team dreaming of gold