PREMIER LEAGUE: Week 2 Preview
It's time for Week 2 of the ONE Volleyball Premier League! Last week's kick-off was a great start to the summer - but now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty
Madawaska Madmen vs. Investors Group (M) - 7:00 pm ET
The Madawaska Madmen (1-0) opened the Premier League with an explosive win over Team ONE, but will face some competition for the Investors Group (0-1) in this week's match.
The Madmen featured a two-headed attack led by outsides Joren Zeeman and Ray Szeto in their win last week, and have plenty more to offer with a stacked line-up that includes current Pros Erik Mattson as libero and Andre Brown in the middle.
While the Investors Group suffered a loss last week, they proved they were going to be one of the grittiest teams in the league as the kept pace with the high-powered Unity offense last week despite rolling the lineup and trying some different pairings. Lucas Coleman led things with 14 points and a 64% efficiency while his former Ryerson Rams teammate Uchenna Ofoha added 13 including a massive 8 blocks at the net.
Unity vs. Titans (W) - 7:00 pm ET
Two teams that started the Premier League on the wrong foot have a chance to even things up tonight!
Unity (0-1) fell 1-3 to Q2 Sports, including an embarrassing 25-12 fourth-set, and will be looking to prove they are one of the top teams to deal with. They were rolling their lineups quite a bit, so maybe we'll see them settle into their lineup a little more in Week 2.
Led down the middle last week with Alley Newman scoring 11 and Ashley Simac adding 8, this team will be a handful if they can find some consistent scoring on the outside.
The Titans will also be looking to bounce back from a less-than-stellar first week after falling quickly to Galaxy 3-0. Making an eye-opening 27 errors over three-sets, the Titans failed to get any type of rhythm going and had a paltry 28% efficiency at the net. Taylor Brisebois and Natalie Buck both threw down 8 points last week - numbers that are going to need to be much higher if the Titans want to avoid going 0-2.
Unity vs. ONE (M) - 9:00 pm ET
If any match tonight is going to be a slug-fest - it'll be when Unity (1-0) takes on Team ONE (0-1).
Unity kicked off the league by showing off their high powered offence to the World - and boy, did they deliver. Terrell Bramwell led the show with 19 points, while Oleh Kovalchuk added 17 with a 62% efficiency and #1 pick Steve Hunt chipped in with 15.
The scary thing? They were getting scoring from the entire lineup - even setter Aleksa Miladinovic picked up 7 points and libero Matt McGirr added 2 aces (yes, liberos can serve!).
This match could also be the Battle of the Brothers - if ONE decides they want to play Taylor Hunt this week. In Week 1, Hunt who has a few professional seasons under his belt, found himself on the bench for the entirety of the match after showing up late (we presume).
If Hunt is to play in the one - adding him to a lineup that already includes Jori Mantha and Alex Duncan-Thibault - ONE has the fire-power to go shot-for-shot with Unity.
Q2 Sports vs. Galaxy (W) - 9:00 pm ET
One of these teams will leave Week 2 as the early Premier League favourites. But which one?
Q2 Sports (1-0) and Galaxy (1-0) both threw down some strong performances in Week 1, and will need to back-it up big time this week.
Q2 was dominant in their win over Unity last week - putting up the biggest offensive numbers of any of woman's teams in Week 1. Former UBC Thunderbird Carla Bradstock set a masterful game and added 8 points to the three-headed monster that was Danielle Walker, Lauren Stirling and Rebecca Glancy who scored 17, 13, and 12 respectively.
For team Galaxy, the pairing of Stephanie Neville and Kelly Nyhof is already proving they can be the best one-two punch in the league. Neville led the way with 12 and Nyhof added - all with Veronica Livingston getting the majority of the sets and swinging an uncharacteristic 19% for only 5 points. Once the fiery redhead from Ryerson gets going - Galaxy will be a three-headed dragon that could be very difficult to deal with.