When it mattered the most and they were playing their biggest match of the year, the Nipissing Lakers women’s volleyball team stepped up in a big way.
Led by an impressive performance from veteran Erika Lapierre, the Lakers cruised to a 3-0 victory over the York Lions Saturday afternoon at the RJS Athletic Centre.
It wasn’t easy, but Nipissing claimed wins of 25-22, 25-22 and 25- 21 to move to 7-6 and take over sole possession of third place in the competitive East Division, helping their cause as they push for the playoffs.
In every set, after 20 points the Lakers were the dominant team.
In the first set, with the score close, Nipissing grabbed five of the last six points to come away with the victory.
While it was far from a blowout, the Lakers did lead for the majority of the opening set, setting the tone for the match.
In the second, it was a similar story as Nipissing scored five of the final six points to take over a set that was tied 16-16 midway through.
The Lakers had three different players score points to put the second set away, with Tracy Hammerton finishing things off.
And once again, in the third and final set, the Lakers scored five of the matches’ final six points to pull of the sweep.
Lapierre closed out the match, picking up her 15th kill as she capped off a great effort from every in blue and white.
Leading the Lakers offence was Lapierre with 15 kills, Tracy Hammerton had 12 and Shayla Kessler added 9.5 points in the win.
The win puts the Lakers in sole possession of third place in the East Division. They have now won two in a row.
Nipissing hits the road for two matches next weekend, facing McMaster and Brock.
There was no doubt that Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Nipissing Lakers men’s volleyball team and the York Lions was a playoff-type match.
The two teams are battling for position in the extremely tight OUA East Division and at the end of the day, it was the Lions who moved up the standings after topping the Lakers 3-1.
Every set was within four points, proving the teams were both right there and a fortunate bounce away from taking each set and the match overall.
York opened up with a 25-22 victory before Nipissing responded to even things up.
With the score tied 21-21, the Lions scored four of the next five points and escaped the first set with a victory, kicking things off.
In the second set, it was the reverse of the first as the Lakers came up with a big victory, scoring four of the final five points to pull away and even things up.
In the third, things went down to the wire once again, but an early lead York built up had them in front for the majority of the set and gave them enough of a cushion at the end to secure the victory.
In the fourth and what turned out to be the final set, York led 23-19 late before the Lakers began to mount a comeback. They pulled the match within one, as the Lions led 24-23.
Nipissing was unable to fight back and extend the match, as they came up short in the fourth.
Lyndon Sonego led the Lakers with 16 kills, Steve Wood had 12 and Warren Taylor had 9 in today’s battle.
The Lakers are now 8-4 on the season and in fourth place in the East, heading into the final three weekends of the season.
Nipissing faces McMaster and Brock on the road next weekend.
Typically when you don’t allow a goal in two games, you win.
While that’s a pretty obvious statement, it’s exactly the case for the Nipissing Lakers women’s hockey team, as they picked up their second straight shutout victory, blanking the Waterloo Warriors 1-0 Saturday afternoon.
The lone goal came on a power play in overtime which gave Nipissing a perfect weekend and five points, as they separate themselves from third place Toronto and closed the gap on first place Guelph.
Coming off a 2-0 victory over Laurier Friday evening, the Lakers gave the Warriors very little in the way of offence, limiting them to just nine shots, while firing 25 at the net themselves.
It did take extra time for Nipissing to break through, but one was all they needed and it was Kaley Tienhaara’s sixth of the season and fifth in the past five games.
Jackie Rochefort was perfect again and now has four shutouts on the season and a shutout streak of over 120 minutes.
Nipissing now hits the road for a pair of games in Toronto, taking on the U of Toronto Varsity Blues Friday night and the Ryerson Rams Saturday evening.
With just four games left on the schedule, the Lakers will qualify for the post-season for their third straight season, but where they finish is still to be determined.
Game times next weekend are 7pm in Toronto Friday and 7:30pm in Toronto against Ryerson Saturday night.
It hasn’t been the kind of season the Nipissing Lakers men’s hockey team was hoping for, but they certainly haven’t quit in any game during the year.
Coming off a tough loss Friday night, the Lakers put in a solid effort, battling for every inch of ice all night long, taking the York Lions to overtime and a shootout, with the decision going the Lakers way, by a final of 3-2.
It was a deserved win for the Lakers, who put in an impressive effort.
Despite being outshot by the Lions, the West Division’s second place team, the Lakers stood tall and held their own.
The Lakers actually led the game 1-0 after Colin Campbell’s 13th of the season.
It was the game’s first goal after a scoreless 20 minutes and was the only goal through 40 minutes of play.
Brock Morrison and Steve Deeg earned assists on the tally.
Three goals in the third saw the teams go back and forth in the span of just over two minutes.
First, York tied the game just over a minute into the period.
From there, the Lakers regained a one goal lead, as Erik Robichaud found the back of the net on the power play to give Nipissing a 2-1 lead.
And just 23 seconds after that, York tied the game once again and the teams played the rest of the third, as well as the first overtime even.
Both teams had their chances, but neither were able to find the back of the net the rest of the way, as they combined for 86 shots through 70 minutes, plus another five in the shootout.
In the shootout, the lone goal came off the stick of Dylan Staples and Domenic Graham made all three saves, adding to his 48 in regular play.
It was a much-deserved victory for Nipissing.
From here, the Lakers will host the McGill Redmen and Ottawa Gee Gees next week to close out the season.
Game times are 7:15pm both Friday and Saturday night.
It was another tough second half that came back to bite the Nipissing Lakers women’s basketball team, as they dropped their matchup with Lakehead Saturday night.
While they trailed at the half, the Lakers were very much in the game, but a lopsided third quarter and a tough fourth quarter prevented Nipissing from mounting a comeback.
Lakehead would take advantage of their hot shooting late, leading to a 79-53 victory over Nipissing.
The teams went back and forth for much of the first 10 minutes of play, with Lakehead gaining an early advantage, but a late push by the Lakers, including a buzzer-beater by Heidi Smith had Nipissing down just five after one.
The Lakers trailed 20-15 after one quarter of play.
In the second, the Lakers improved their plat at both ends of the court and cut into the lead, outscoring Lakehead 15-13 and took the game into halftime down just three, 33-30.
Unfortunately, Lakehead came out very strong in the third quarter, posting 22 points and turning that three point lead into an 18 point lead after 30 minutes of play.
Down heading into the final quarter, Nipissing tried to make a push, but Lakehead put the game away, putting up another 24 points and extending their lead, eventually winning by 26, 79-53.
Heidi Smith had 12 points, Alexe Galipeau-Wilson had 11, Michaela Branker had 10 and Claire Abbott had nine for the Lakers offensively, in Saturday’s contest.
Next up, in their final home game of the regular season, Nipissing faces Laurentian next Friday at 6pm at the RJS Athletic Centre.
All good things must come to an end, and unfortunately it did Saturday night for the Nipissing Lakers men’s basketball team.
After a four game winning streak, the Lakers fell at the hands of the Lakehead Thunderwolves by 11, 68-57 on home court.
After a slow start, the Lakers and Thunderwolves eventually found their groove, but it took a half time make it happen.
The teams combined for just 29 points in the first quarter, the T’Wolves grabbing a one point lead after 10 minutes of play thanks to some solid defence down the stretch.
Lakehead then extended their lead in the second quarter and took a five point advantage into the half, but the Lakers were hot on their tales, finding a way back in the game after they trailed by as much as 11.
A slow third quarter where Nipissing closed the gap to two set up a huge, exciting and entertaining fourth.
The Lakers looked to be on their way back into the game and even grabbed their first lead of the night, but were unable to hold on and some late pressure, strong defence and key shots allowed Lakehead to build their lead.
In the end, it was a 24-16 edge in the fourth that put the game out of reach, as the Lakers dropped to 8-9 on the season.
Leading the way offensively for Nipissing, who is still in a very favourable position regarding the playoff picture, were Marcus Lewis who had 22 points Friday, while Justin Shaver had a double-double, 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Nipissing faces Laurentian Feb. 10 in North Bay.