On Friday January 21st, I got a chance to see the Humber Hawks take on the Fanshawe Falcons. Though I am somewhat unfamiliar with Women’s OCAA Volleyball, this seemed like an opportune time to learn. The Hawks are dominating the regular season with an undefeated record, and in fact won 27 straight matches at some point this season. Fanshawe is ranked third in the province with a 10-3 record. The game promised to display what the OCAA has to offer.
The real reason I made an effort to go initially was Humber 8 Landis Doyle. In her last year, Landis Doyle is verging on breaking more than on OCAA all-time record. When I went to see her, she had 39 more points to earn of kills to take over the record for points all-time in a career. She was 11 aces from taking over the most aces all-time in a career, and there were 8 games remaining in the season. I had to see if this highly reputed player could back up the impressive nature of her accomplishments.
After watching warm-up it was clear who Doyle was. Though their warm-up attired covered the numbers, she dominated the court. She was replaced by a libero in the backcourt every time, as is the convention for middle players. That kept her rested for the rest of her game: swinging and serving.
Two things were obvious through the entire game: Landis Doyle was the best player on either side of the court, and Humber was going to win. Even though the two teams represent the highest echelon of OCAA volleyball, the skill divide was great. Though the Falcons had a much more even distribution of points, Humber was too powerful with attacks from Landis Doyle, 2 Laura Bye, and 10 Kelly Nyhof. Those three players accounted for at least 80% of Humber attacks, and Fanshawe simply couldn’t deal with the assault. Humber won the first two sets fairly easily.
The third set had Humber leading 23-22 when they had to swap Doyle out for their libero. With Doyle off of the court, the Falcons staged a comeback. Nyhof, who plays middle opposite Doyle, simply didn’t have the same power or accuracy to her kills. The Fanshawe team ended up timing her attack, and managed a large block to take the set in extra points. The Falcons proved they still have some life.
In the fourth set, things returned to their normal state. Laura Bye started a serving streak that pushed the game from one point, to 10-4. Doyle was the next server, and she added to the streak, even adding an ace to her pursuit of the record books. Fanshawe looked beat by the midway point, and the game ended (fittingly enough) on a hard Landis Doyle attack. The final score was 25-17 as Humber maintained their undefeated regular season record.
By the end, Doyle managed 31 kills and 3 aces. She had 39 points left at the beginning of the game, and now only has to kill 8 balls over the next 7 games to set the new record. There are less than 10 aces left for her, though that accomplishment may prove more difficult than the former.
You can watch Landis Doyle for yourself, as Humber plays tonight, January 26th at 6:00 pm on Humber campus. The next time she is back in Toronto is February 9th, also at 6:00 pm at Humber. Their full schedule can be found here, including the progression of their obscene 36-5 record. All of those losses came in the first week of exhibition games, or in Europe during an exhibition trip.