Boreal men get the better of Cambrian on the court
by Randy Pascal
For Justin Lamontagne and the remaining returnees with the Collège Boréal Vipères men's volleyball team, a match victory over the
crosstown rival Cambrian College Golden Shield is a wonderful sign of progress being made.
The Vipères used home court advantage, recently, stopping the Shield 25-20, 25-22, 24-26, 23-25, 15-9 and recording the first OCAA victory since the
2015-2016 campaign. “We have a lot of returning players this year,” said Lamontagne. “We have gelled a lot better, and we're more skillful this year.”
Understandably, tasting defeat on a regular basis can pose a coaching challenge that goes well beyond the “X's” and “O's” on the court. “We've been
struggling a lot with our mental game,” stated Lamontagne, a 19 year old second year student in the Promotion de la Santé (Health Promotion)
“We had to establish the ability to play smart early, knowing when to swing big, because that gets the crowd going, gets our bench going. We had guys
like Mitch (Michel Ayotte) and Rylan (Levean) swing down on balls when they had a mismatch, when they could hit over the block.”
Yet despite establishing a 2-0 set lead, the Vipères were not about to cruise to victory without hitting some adversity. “”We won the first two sets,
but when we came into the third, for some reason, everyone was just flat,” said Lamontagne.
“That didn't give us a good start, then we got behind and it was hard to build back up.” Thankfully, there were plenty of positives to cling to when it
came right down to a fifth and deciding set.
“We still thought we were dominating the game, but that we had many too many errors, silly little brain farts,” said Lamontagne. “We thought if we won
the race to eight, we would be good. Most of the times, the team that wins the race to eight will win the race to fifteen in that fifth set.”
No less than three Boréal players reached double digits in kills versus Cambrian, with Levean (13), Ayotte (12) and Lamontagne (11) all closely bunched
Darian Dechaine would make his presence felt defensively, recording a team high seven blocks while Ayotte was head and shoulders the leader in
digs, with 14.