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Source: Nipissing University

Lady Lakers golden at Humber Invitational

November 6, 2006

TORONTO, ON Ė The Nipissing University Lady Lakers volleyball team captured gold at the Humber Cup defeating the Algonquin College Thunder 2-0 (25-15, 25-19) in the finals.

The tournament featured all eight womenís teams that appeared at the 2005-06 OCAA championships, as well as Cambrian and Loyalist. The tournament structure pitted West/Central-West division teams against East/Central-East teams. Only the top two teams from each division advanced to the semi-finals.

"The tournament structure presented an interesting challenge in itself," said head coach Marc LaRochelle. "We had a very strong pool with Humber, Mohawk, Fanshawe and Georgian. It was important for us to be focused every match as points for and against could play a major factor in determining the top two."

The Lakers finished first in pool play by defeating Cambrian 2-0 (25-22, 25-20), Algonquin 2-0 (25-21, 25-14), Seneca 2-0 (25-18, 25-20), Durham 2-0 (25-16, 25-17) and split with Loyalist (15-25, 25-14).

The Lakers advanced to the Cup final by defeating Humber 2-0 (25-17, 25-17).

"Humber is always a tough match. We've had some classic battles over the last few years. Our players wanted to put in a good performance, and they did," added LaRochelle

"Overall I was very happy with our effort this weekend. We played a very good team game. We maintained a balanced level of intensity and focus, and our point for point mentality was solid, which was crucial in a tournament structured in this fashion.

"I thought our setter, Christina Crozier, was outstanding at distributing the ball, while Megan Stacey and Lynn Danis dominated the middle. They used their speed effectively and created numerous one-on-one situations for themselves and the outside hitters. Although it took a while for our left sides to get going, they certainly stepped up their game against Humber and Algonquin.

"As the tournament progressed our defensive effort was much better. We have been working hard on being more tenacious on defense and it was a much better effort this weekend. We will continue to work on our game as we know teams will get better as the season progresses."

Megan Stacey was named the tournament Most Valuable Player and Lynn Danis was named a tournament All Star.

The Lady Lakers will travel to Sudbury next weekend to play in the Cambrian Invitational Tournament.

In menís action, the Lakers posted some disappointing results and finished the tournament with four points. In pool play the Lakers were defeated by Seneca 2-0 (24-26, 16-25), Algonquin 2-0 (21-25, 22-25), while defeating Durham 2-0 (30-28, 25-20) and splitting match with Loyalist (22-25, 27-25) and Cambrian (16-25, 25-21). The Lakers did not advance to the playoffs.

After some reflection, head coach Duane Culin had this to say about his teams performance. "Practice how you play, or should I say you play how you practice. After a lackadaisical and unfocused week of practices, we went into the Humber Cup, probably the most competitive tournament of the season, a very unseasoned team. Our energy was non-existent and our play was average at best. I told the guys at the beginning of the season that we have a great team that has the ability to win every game we enter, however, the league is so strong that if we donít come out and bring our best game, we will lose. And thatís exactly what happened. Regardless of our recent successes this season, you donít win games on past performances. I am hoping the guys learn from this weekend and come out this week more focused and ready to work."

The Lakers will be looking to get back on track as they host the annual Lakers Volleyball Classic this weekend at the Robert J. Surtees Centre.



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