Sweeping the two visiting teams this weekend, the UBCO women’s volleyball team not only stuck to precedent, but also ensured a fond farewell to a beloved member and the official end of the 'Lakers' at home.
In the last home games of her university career, Tammy Thomas was named Player of the Game both nights as she led the Lakers in wins over Columbia Bible College and the University of the Fraser Valley. This weekend also represented the last home games of UBC O as the 'Lakers', with the co-op between UBC and OC over and a new team name to be unveiled for next season.
The memorable weekend opened Friday night against the CBC Bearcats, a game Head Coach Steve Manuel and the Lakers knew “wouldn’t be easy.” As the first set got under way, it was apparent that Lakers were not at the top of their game. With some balls hitting the net and some errant blocks deflecting for points against, the Lakers seemed more scattered than usual. CBC, just coming off of a tough stint against some of the league leading teams was perhaps more on point for the opening serve.
“CBC’s a good team, and they work very hard on and off the court.” said Manuel “We knew they’d give us a tough game, and in the first sets we just weren’t clicking.”
“CBC is used to the ball coming fast”, continued Manuel, regarding the sharp opposition and their preparation “They’ve played the top teams already so their used to some faster play. We haven’t faced the other top teams so maybe we were a little less on point.”
Whatever gears were grinding the first half; the women quickly found their groove and started to distance the Bearcats, resulting in an effective 3-0 sweep (25-19,25-19,25-14). Tammy Thomas earned the Player of the Game, an honor that would quickly repeat.
Saturday night saw Thomas step out onto UBC O hardwood for the last time. Against the UCFV Cascades, Thomas was electric with 6 aces, 4 digs, and 17 kills, leading the Lakers to a 3-0 victory (25-19,25-11,25-22). In one of the tougher matches the Lakers have faced so far in ‘08, Manuel praised the Lakers for getting “progressively better as the game went on.” He further praised Kailey Buller on the right side, with Caitlin Nyhus contributing excellent execution.
“We served well, we passed well, everything just really fell into place.” said Manuel “We kept up that pressure. Kailey was great on the right side, and [Caitlin] Nyhus did a great job executing at setter. Rebecca Warnes was perfect on defense with 18 digs.”
Despite the team effort, everyone knew that the night really belonged to Thomas, who graduates this year with her B.A. in Psychology.
“It was in the back of everybody’s mind”, said Manuel about Thomas’ last game at UBC O “There was definitely some emotion before the game, this group is close.”
There was definitely some emotion post-game too, as Thomas was honored for her contributions to Laker volleyball over the past 4 years by Manuel and Director of Athletics Rob Johnson. There were a few tears in the stands, with more than a few on the sidelines as teammates, friends, and family alike recognized Tammy’s legacy at the school.
“Pound for pound, Tammy is the best player in the league right now.” Manuel said in an earlier interview “Nobody works harder, or with more desire, day in and day out like she does. She’s worked so hard over the past 4 years to get where she is, and it’s incredible to see.”
The Lakers will finish the season on the road, with two weeks of some stiff competition before provincial championships fire up.
Good Luck, Lakers.
And good luck, Tammy.
Last reviewed 1/28/2008 4:20:04 PM