It has been a season of ups and downs for the men’s volleyball team, but they are set to peak at the most important time of the year. With only two teams in the conference, there is an important focus on play in the AUS/RESQ Interlock tournaments, which is where the Tigers have made the difference in their season.
After starting the first half of the season with a 2-4 record, the Tigers used the Christmas break to regroup for the second half of the season. They travelled to York to take part in the Excalibur tournament early January and were able to pick up wins against some of the top teams in the country to win the exhibition tournament.
Using that momentum, the Tigers improved on their record in the second half record by going 5-4, including two important wins against UNB and a win against the U SPORTS No. 5 ranked Laval. The Tigers finished the season with a record of 7-8, which was good enough to put them atop the AUS standings.
Even with a well-balanced attack that includes many hitting options, fifth-year Matthew Donovan has made an impact on nearly every major stat in the conference as well as at the national level.
Donovan led the AUS by a massive margin in total kills as well as kills per set during the regular season, and tied for the lead in service aces. In addition to his offensive prowess, Donovan also led the conference in total digs.
It was clear that the Tigers put an emphasis on defensive play throughout the season as fellow Tigers Matthew Lavoie and Kobe Shannon followed behind Donovan to round out the top three players leading the AUS in total digs.
Setting up Donovan for the majority of those kills was Adam Spragg, who led the conference in assists and found himself in the top 15 in the country in assists per set.
The Tigers head into a best-of-three AUS championship playoff series holding home-court advantage against UNB starting this Saturday. Holding a 3-3 record on the season against each other, the Tigers look to use the series as a tie-breaker and claim their first AUS banner since 2014-15.