UTM suited up against UTSC for the final tri-campus men’s volleyball game of the regular season at the RAWC last Tuesday. The teams were trending in different directions, and it was apparent who was heading to the playoffs and who wasn’t. In quick fashion, UTM lost in straight sets to an athletic UTSC squad, leaving hope only for a better season next year.
Spectators watched the first set with great enthusiasm as both teams slammed the ball back and forth. Jacob Ociera added to the great mix of hits when, set up by Alex Singh, he smashed the ball past tall UTSC frontmen, keeping the ball in bounds and giving his side some momentum. But the UTSC attack was too strong for a smaller-statured UTM team that had trouble blocking the hard shots. UTSC won the first set 25-16.
The highlight of the game came in the second set when UTM, down 13 points, showed resilience and teamwork, climbing their way back and making UTSC fight until the very end. Ultimately, UTSC won their second set 25-17. Kenil Upadhyay, a second-year life sciences student, praised his team’s great composure. “We were 13 behind in the second set, but we managed to make a mini-comeback by getting some good points,” he says.
In the final frame, UTSC played like the playoff team they are and finished off the game with a convincing win, taking UTM down, 25-17. Ekpedeme Moron was UTM’s strongest contributor of the night, but even he couldn’t get past the mighty UTSC team.
Upadhyay understands why his team struggled. “We lost some points because we weren’t getting the blocks tight enough on the net and covering tips well,” he says.
UTSC had the advantage of playing with an experienced team, whereas UTM had Upadhyay, a late addition to the team who had to get accustomed to his new environment before the game. Even so, Upadhyay was satisfied with his play. “I felt good about my passes and pretty good about the one hit I got,” he says. He adds that the tri-campus competition was difficult for him to adjust to but with the determination to improve, he hopes for success in the coming years.