The York men’s volleyball Lions are the 2004-2005 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) champions after defeating the Western Mustangs 3-2 in a hard-fought and entertaining match before a joyous home crowd at the Tait McKenzie Centre on Saturday.
Right: York celebrates its OUA Championship victory. Photo by Andrew Craig
York’s Jason Kinoshita and Ryan Anderson, each named first team All-Stars earlier this week, played up to their billing with key plays down the stretch to lift York to victory. Anderson led all players with 17 kills, while Kinoshita added six kills and 39 assists. James Battiston also played a strong game, adding 14 kills and five blocks.
The Lions started slowly as the Mustangs grabbed an early 4-0 lead in the first set. York had difficulties getting the ball over the net and, by the first technical timeout, Western held a five-point advantage. York’s Jordan Matthews dropped one of his two services aces of the match to pull York within two but Mustang All-Star Peter Sidler later sealed the deal with a set-point kill to give Western a 25-17 win.
York put up a better effort in the next frame, kicking off a 7-4 run on the solid offensive play of Paul Podstawaka and Anderson. The Mustangs clawed back and every time the Lions scored the go-ahead point, Western would even it up. York won the set, 25-21, when a Western spike attempt went just wide.
In the third stanza, the Mustangs held the momentum early on and maintained a two-point edge over the Lions for most of the game. Sidler dropped a service ace for Western to make the score 16-13 by the second technical timeout. With the score tied at 18, Kinoshita delivered an emphatic spike to give York the lead. Battiston then found the open court with a kill to give York the 25-23 victory.
The Mustangs dominated the next set with a series of runs that, at one point, put the Lions behind by as many as 10. Western took the fourth frame, 25-14, to give York its most one-sided set loss of the series.
After being beaten soundly in the fourth frame, York responded with a convincing 15-10 fifth-set victory. Anderson dropped the winning kill right at the feet of Western’s defenders to give York its first OUA championship title since 1993-1994.
Right: York captain and first team OUA All-Star Jason Kinoshita. Photo by Andrew Craig
“This was the best volleyball that has been played in a long, long, time,” said York head coach Wally Dyba, who guided York to its ninth provincial championship. “Everyone was on the edge of their seats.”
“We had challenges this year with major injuries at key positions,” added Dyba. “We had three rookies in the starting rotation, but we were able to make the adjustments, which is a testament to our team and the quality of athletes we have.”
The Mustangs held an advantage over the Lions in serves, recording only six errors to York’s 15. Sidler led his team with 13 kills, six digs and four block assists. Mustang left side hitter Adam Dumond had a team-high 14 kills, while Dan Miller and Alex Jerome rounded out the scoring with 10 and nine kills, respectively.
With the win, York advances to the national CIS Championship at Laval University, Quebec, March 4-6.
OUA Men’s Volleyball Championship Series results
Feb. 22 – Western 2 at York 3 (25-22, 25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 13-15)
Feb. 24 – York 1 at Western 3 (22-25, 25-14, 22-25, 21-25)
Feb. 26 – Western 2 at York 3 (25-17, 21-25, 23-25, 25-14, 10-15)
York men’s volleyball – OUA Championships
2004 – 2005
1993 – 1994
1992 – 1993
1988 – 1989
1981 – 1982
1980 – 1981
1979 – 1980
1973 – 1974
1972 – 1973
This report was submitted to YFile by Keith Boshart, information assistant, Sport York.