Golden Hawks wear crown

CKSS uses come­back in first set of fi­nal to de­throne Ur­su­line

The Chatham Daily News - - SPORTS - MARK MAL­ONE mmalone@post­media.com

The Chatham-Kent Golden Hawks rode the mo­men­tum from a huge first-set come­back to a cham­pi­onship win Fri­day.

The Golden Hawks beat the Ur­su­line Lancers 25-23, 25-17, 20-25, 25-23 in the LKSSAA ‘AAA’ se­nior boys’ vol­ley­ball fi­nal.

They were down 10 points late in the open­ing set be­fore storm­ing back in front of a packed house at Chatham-Kent Sec­ondary School.

“We were just fired up af­ter that,” Hawks set­ter Tyler Cun­dle said. “Blocks were go­ing ev­ery­where. We were get­ting good de­fence and we were able to run ef­fec­tive of­fence.”

The Lancers led 19-9, but the Hawks ral­lied for a 20-20 tie. The teams were tied two more times be­fore the Hawks pulled out the win.

“It gave us a lot of mo­men­tum,” Golden Hawks hit­ter Colin Pre­laz. “We gained con­fi­dence, which helped out a lot. Then we just moved for­ward dur­ing the match.”

The come­back buoyed the topseeded Hawks, but it didn’t seem to hurt the Lancers.

Lancers head coach Jeff Denomy saidtheUr­su­line­play­er­sre­sponded well af­ter the first-set loss.

“I thought we re­cov­ered from that,” he said. “They did to us what we did to them. Usu­ally it’s the other way around. Usu­ally CK comes out of the gate and we fight back. …

“We didn’t make many mis­takes. We just weren’t ag­gres­sive enough. We got a lead be­ing ag­gres­sive and then CK got ag­gres­sive. We were tip­ping some balls and you can’t tip against CK. They play great de­fence and they brought it to us.”

When Lancers fell be­hind, the Hawks had them right where they wanted them.

“We try to get them when they’re down and just keep fir­ing away,” Cun­dle said.

He added: “Serve re­ceive and our de­fence re­ally made the dif­fer­ence. We were get­ting good blocks, we were get­ting good passes, we were able to run that of­fence that we needed to and were able to keep them on their toes, not know­ing what’s com­ing next.”

Pre­laz said the Hawks were com­fort­able play­ing against the long­time ri­vals.

“We play a lot of high-qual­ity teams dur­ing the sea­son, so we’re used to big hit­ters like that,” Pre­laz said. “We’re used to it.” The lead see­sawed in the third set be­fore the Lancers staved off elim­i­na­tion.

“We got, I don’t want to say too con­fi­dent, but we let up a lit­tle bit,” Pre­laz said. “We could have pushed for­ward.”

The Hawks will host LaSalle Sand­wich in the SWOSSAA ‘AAA’ fi­nal Thurs­day. The win­ner goes to the OF­SAA cham­pi­onship.

MARK MAL­ONE/THE DAILY NEWS

CKSS Golden Hawks’ Tyler Cun­dle (13) and Ja­cob Stoffyn (5) make a block against the Ur­su­line Lancers in the LKSSAA ‘AAA’ se­nior boys’ vol­ley­ball fi­nal Fri­day at Chatham-Kent Sec­ondary School.

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