Fanshawe punches ticket to gold medal game at OCAAs

Reporter: Luke Callebert

The Fanshawe Falcons earned a berth in the gold medal game of the OCAA provincial championships, sweeping the Seneca Sting 3-0. Set scores were 25-19, 25-20 and 25-17 for the Falcons.

“I thought we were pretty prepared for the game,” said Falcons assistant coach Josh Westgate. “At this point now, it’s really how well we execute. I thought our girls played really well. We’re ecstatic about the win.”

The first set had great action featuring two OCAA all-stars: Fanshawe’s Kaitlyn Kelly and Seneca’s Lindsay Ballance. Kelly, a first-team west region all-star, finished the set with four kills while Ballance, a second-team east region all-star, had three kills. It was the Falcons prevailing in the set 25-19, thanks to back-to-back blocks from Brandie Ellis to end the set.

The second was more back and forth with the Falcons jumping out to a 7-2 lead early on. Seneca would tie it, 9-9, only to fall behind again for good, with the Falcons winning the set 25-20.

A scary moment occurred in the second set when the game was stopped due to a Seneca injury. Clare Weisser was down. She tried to walk off under her own power, getting halfway off the court before collapsing in pain again. Trainers were seen icing her right knee and she left the building on crutches.

Seneca seemed to lose energy after the Weisser injury. Teammates were visibly shaken on the sidelines and it showed in their play in the third set. Falcons middle Shelby Charlton dominated the set with four blocked shots and three kills, giving her a game-high 10. The Falcons completed the 3-0 sweep of the Sting, 25-17.

“We’ve done really well with our emotions,” said Westgate. “We haven’t gotten too down, too up. I’m really proud of that mental state that we’re playing with right now.”

The Falcons will now move on to play the winner of the last semi-final between the Trent Excalibur and the Humber Hawks. The game will take place Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.