By Rylie Dobson
This week’s Flashback Friday features the 2001-02 men’s volleyball team.
Back Row (L-R): Dan Ota (Head Coach), Randy Scharf, Ryan Andrews, Sean Wormsbecker, Tim Wiley, Adam Jones, Colin Stairs, Chris Geddes, Jeff Stevens, Aaron Nutting (Assistant Coach).
Front Row (L-R): Ian MacLean (Assistant Trainer), Jeff Rand, Kanitha Boranprasit, Geoff Daniels, Tony Finch, Josh Muise, Jared Regier, Mike Chumbley, David Lee, Ken Seaman (Athletic Therapist).
Missing: Eric Villeneuve (Assistant Coach), Colin Guthrie (Sport Psychologist).
With twelve returning players and an outstanding recruiting class, the 2001-02 season promised a solid run for the AUS conference title.
After a disappointing pre-season, the Tigers began the regular season at Queen’s University aiming for redemption. In an otherwise strong round-robin, the Tigers lost to York which put them in a three-way tie for third place. In their second major tournament of the year, the Tigers travelled to the University of Waterloo. The squad swept in the round-robin, and earned a spot in the semi final, which they ultimately lost to Western and walked away with a second-place finish.
Following a brief Christmas break, the Tigers had a tough first tournament at York and finished fourth in an eight-team field. Two weeks later, the team hosted the 23rd annual Dalhousie Classic, and went undefeated. A satisfying victory over the nationally ranked Queen’s team in the final earned the Tigers their second-consecutive Classic gold medal.
In addition to tournament success, the Tigers dominated the Atlantic Conference in league play. Losing just three sets during the regular season, the Tigers went undefeated in their 12 AUS conference games. Despite an early loss to Moncton in the AUS playoff opener, the Tigers swept the rest of the series and claimed the AUS championship title.
Heading into their 23rd consecutive run in the CIS championship, the Tigers were ranked seventh in the country. They faced #2 ranked Winnipeg in their series and saw success in the first two sets but fell in the next three. They were relegated to play for seventh, which they won by topping Montreal.
The team’s senior co-captains Josh Muise, Ryan Andrews and Jeff Stevens were integral in the team’s success. Muise claimed AUS player of the year awards, named a AUS first team all-star, and a CIS second team all-Canadian. He ranked in the AUS top 10 in every statistical category during the season. Andrews was awarded with a CIS honorable mention all-Canadian, and AUS first team all-star. Stevens took home AUS first team all-star and AUS playoff MVP honours. Rookie Tim Wiley also had an incredible season, earning AUS rookie of the year, AUS first team all star and both CIS and AUS all-rookie selections.