This week’s Flashback Friday goes to the 2004-05 men’s volleyball team.
Back Row (L-R): Meaghan MacInnis (Trainer), Ian MacLean (Head Trainer) Phil Brown (Statistician), Bruce Carruthers (Announcer), Jeff Rand, Adam Hotchkiss, Tim Wiley, Niklas Rademacher, Adam Jones, Jesse Mighton, Dan Murray, Aaron Nutting (Assistant Coach), Dan Ota (Head Coach), Kirk Furlong (Trainer), Janelle Craft (Mental Skills)
Front Row (L-R): Sean Bennett, Scott Townsend, Jenner Cormier, Jean-Francis Best, Jeff Weiler, Paul Richer, Chris Dunlop, Geoff Daniels
With a roster full of returning players, the men’s 2004-05 volleyball team had big aspirations going into the season. Travelling around the country during the pre-season, the Tigers found themselves in close matches with perennial powerhouses University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg. Although they came away with losses, the Tigers hung tough and showed they could compete with the best teams in the nation.
The Tigers owned a perfect 5-0 record versus AUS opponents to start the regular season. Adding to their dominance, they also went 4-0 against RSEQ opponents in the first interlock of the season. The wins earned against the AUS and RSEQ opponents showed that Dalhousie was a force to be reckoned with in the east, and going into the holiday break they were the cream of the crop.
Coming out of the break, the Tigers continued their winning ways, sweeping matches against Queen’s and four AUS opponents. However, at the second interlock of the season, the Tigers faced off against a determined Laval squad who ended the Tigers 19 match winning streak. Their motivation reignited by the loss, the Tigers made easy work of their last three AUS matches and turned their sights to the conference championship. AUS playoff MVP Scott Townsend led the Tigers past the Varsity Reds in a best of three series clinching the AUS title in straight matches. As AUS champions, the Tigers headed to nationals in Laval as the fifth seed.
For all the regular season success the Tigers had difficulty getting it to translate to the court at the CIS championship. Playing against University of Manitoba in their first match, the Tigers couldn’t quite get it together, and lost the contest. With the loss the Tigers moved to the consolation side of the draw. The Tigers would then go on to play in the consolation semifinal against the same Laval team who beat them during the season. Once again, the Tigers were not able to click, and dropped the match to the hometown team. While the weekend was not what the Tigers envisioned, a number of Dal players enjoyed individual success, such as Niklas Rademacher who was named a CIS first team all-Canadian while Jeff Weiler, received the CIS Libero of the Year honours.
This years men’s volleyball team heads into the winter break in second place in the AUS, and looks to start stringing together wins as the battle for the conference intensifies.