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Cambrian men advance to quarter-final play

So this is what the Cambrian Golden Shield men's volleyball team looks like with a full and healthy roster on the court.

Honestly, the Seneca Sting did not know what hit them Sunday afternoon in Sudbury.

In a cross-over match that pitted the 4th place team in the West (Cambrian - 12-6) against the 5th place team in the East (Seneca - 9-9), this contest was anything but close.

The Shield stormed out to a 16-4 lead in the opening set, cruising in at 25-14. And for as much as the expected push from the Sting came in the second set, Cambrian prevailed 25-23 after leading by five most of the game, closing out the playoff battle with a 25-11 third set triumph.

"Once we're in system, we're a hard team to beat because we have so many options," noted veteran outside hitter Kurtis Brisebois, who led the Cambrian attack with 11 kills.

In fact, where there certainly have been instances of OCAA all-star Sven Trodel taking over a match during his time with the Golden Shield, that was not necessary in this encounter.

Trodel chipped in with nine kills, followed closely by Liam Hansen (7) and Jason Diotte (5) as setter Dylan Terris continues to grow in this new role, spreading the ball around nicely.

"I think it proves that we're a team," said Brisebois. "If someone is slacking one night,we have five other guys who can step up and help the team push on."

"I struggled some games and Kyle (rookie Kyle Perreault) came off the bench and absolutely killed it," Brisebois added. "The kid is a stud."

While the defending OCAA bronze medal winners were certainly capable of dominating out of the gates, this start qualified as a bit of a surprise to Brisebois.

"We had a pretty slow warm-up, I want to say," suggested the graduate of Lasalle Secondary, one of a handful of former Lancers on the squad.

"Once it comes to the game, we kind of get locked in."

Truth be told, the homeside were near flawless through the opening 20 points or so, playing at a pace that was likely to level out - a fact not lost upon this well tenured crew.

"We knew that we were going to start making some errors and they were going to start to clean up some of theirs - but as long as we kept our side clean, we felt confident we could take the next sets."

At 6'1", Brisebois does not start play with the same advantage the likes of Diotte (6'9"), Trodel (6'5"), Hansen (6'4") and others might hold over opponents.

Ironically, he credits two different factors for the success he enjoyed offensively and defensively (he was also tied for the team lead in blocks, with Hansen, with three).

"Hitting is more technique but blocking is more of an adrenaline thing," said Brisebois. "You see your guy go up and you're thinking: I just want to do everything I can to stop him."

"I feel like I can jump the highest when I am blocking."

That should come in handy this coming weekend as the Cambrian men now take on the Georgian Cubs in quarter-final action in Barrie. Georgian swept past the Redeemer Royals in straight sets, 25-18, 25-17, 25-16.

The Cambrian women were eliminated from the playoffs in their cross-over game with the Loyalist Lancers, beaten 18-25, 20-25, 29-31.

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