Kajan Thiruthanikasalam (Sports Writer, Colts Athletics)
SCARBOROUGH, ONT.- The Centennial Colts (6-10) dropped their fourth straight game as they fell in straight sets (22-25, 22-25, 24-26) to the Canadore Panthers (11-6) at the Athletic Wellness Centre, in what was the final home game of the regular season.
Griffin Dubbeld led the Colts with 11 points on 11 kills while Sev Libramonte had nine points on seven kills, an ace, and a block. Calvin Yu had a game high digs while Jason Fillion had a team high three blocks. Adam Yu Qiu paced Centennial with 19 assists in defeat.
For Canadore, they were led by Drake Stevenson, who had 11 points on 10 kills and a block. Ryan Carnevale had a game high four blocks while James Heslinga had a game high three aces.
Centennial was outpaced in kills (33-22), attempts (102-76), assists (30-21), and service aces (5-3) despite beating Canadore in blocks (7-6), digs (32-28) and the Panthers committing five more attack errors (17-12).
Both teams did not give an inch for most of that first set as it was even at 17 before a kill from Heslinga gave the Panthers the lead in the set for good. A kill from Braiden Coughlin gave Canadore the first set by a score of 25-22.
The Panthers then pounced on the Colts early in the second set as they took an early 10-3 lead, forcing the hosts to call an early timeout. Coughlin had three kills during that span and Canadore led by as many as eight (20-12) but Centennial would not give in that easily, scoring the next four points, eventually cutting the lead to 24-22 after a kill from Dubbeld. On the next possession, however, Dubbeld committed an attack error and the set went, 25-22, again in favour of Canadore.
The third set turned into a carbon copy of most of the first set as an ace from Qiu started a back and forth battle between the two teams and it looked like Canadore had control of the set, after scoring three straight points to take a 23-19 lead. However, the Colts then scored five of the next six points to tie the set up at 24 after a massive block from Libramonte.
Canadore, though, scored the next two points and took the third set, 26-24, and the match.
In a pregame ceremony, the Centennial Colts Athletic Department honoured six graduating student-athletes from the men's volleyball team. Ronald Ho (Motive Power), Libramonte (Fitness and Health Promotion), and Jordan Saddler (HRAC Technician) have been with the team beginning in the 2015-16 season, when Centennial was in its first year back in OCAA volleyball and have stuck through adversity with the goal being to earn the Colts' first playoff appearance.
Even though they spent one year with the Colts, Griffin Dubbeld (Pre-Service Fire), Harom Acosta (Office Administration Executive), and Eric Slyfield (New Media Studies) have been a vital part of this year's team as the seniors' work is not done yet.
UP NEXT: On the road against the Fleming Knights at the Peterborough Sport and Wellness Centre on Sunday Feb. 11 at 3:00pm.