Men's volleyball upends No. 9 Redeemer in 5-set thriller

Men's volleyball upends No. 9 Redeemer in 5-set thriller

ANCASTER, Ont. - The Sheridan Bruins men's volleyball team (9-10, 7-9 OCAA) upset the No. 9 team in the country on their home floor, outlasting Redeemer 3-2 (16-25, 25-22, 15-25, 27-25, 18-16) in a 5-set thriller.

"This is a massive win for us," head coach Frank Pento said. "Redeemer is a really good team and they always play tough at home. Knowing we can compete with - and beat - one of the best teams in the league is a well-timed confidence boost with the playoffs right around the corner."

A key sequence came with the fifth set tied at 15-15 as Redeemer's serve hit the tape and looked like it would fall in for an ace to put the home side on match point. But Liam Butchereit made two diving plays - the first to keep the ball alive and the second to get the ball over the net to extend the rally. It worked out even better though, as Redeemer allowed the ball to fall, landing on the line and giving Sheridan a 16-15 lead. They would go on to close out the match three plays later. 

The Bruins claimed victory despite being out-scored 113-101, with Redeemer also holding a 76-53 advantage in total offence. 

Andrew Cianci matched his career-high with 19 points on 17 kills, once ace, and one block, while Marcus Ahmadzai was also in double figures with 12 points on eight kills, two aces, and two blocks. 

At 7-9 on the season and with games remaining against the two teams above them in the standings - Mohawk (8-8) on Feb. 7 and Conestoga (9-7) on Feb. 9 - the Double Blue could finish as high as fifth or as low as seventh in the OCAA West. 

Either way, they will have to go on the road for an OCAA Championship qualifier.