By Andre Lodder
From high school to college and from college to the record books, two Loyalist students have followed each other to successful OCAA volleyball careers.
It’s been a record-breaking year for two Loyalist students, as Matt Woods and Kyle Donnan broke separate records this season.
This past Saturday, Donnan made the 720th kill of his OCAA career in a game against Cambrian College breaking Ryan Talsma’s old record of 719. Donnan has increased his total up to 724 kills heading into Wednesday’s game at Fleming College.
Woods, who also serves as captain for the Lancers, made his 134th career serving-ace on Nov. 13. Woods continues to add to the record previously held by Ian Rettie of Trent University. Heading into Wednesday’s game, Woods has brought that total up to 157.
According to the pair of Lancers, it wasn’t tough to see that the records would be broken.
“Last year I came in second, so I didn’t necessarily expect it, but it was one of my individual goals as a player, and it’s nice to reach that for sure,” said Woods.
“Based on previous season stats, I could see that both records were probably going to be broken this year. So it’s exciting, but it’s just a personal goal for the year,” added Donnan.
With their personal goals behind them, Woods and Donnan are focusing their efforts on getting the team to the playoffs.
“It’s certainly a great accomplishment but at the same time we’re looking further into the season to see how far the team goes in the playoffs,” said Donnan.
While both players have big reasons to be proud of themselves, they don’t take all the credit. Both Donnan and Woods credit their record-breaking numbers to the teammates and coaches they’ve had around them over the last five years.
“We come together really well as a team. In practice we help each other a lot. If we see somebody making a mistake or a minor error, we come together as a team to fix it. So even though it’s an individual record, it’s the team that makes it happen.”
Coach Dave Templar can attest to the team camaraderie saying that the team and coaching staff have grown a relationship with the two players over the past two years.
Templar also believes the two players, as well as the team know what’s expected of them heading towards the playoffs.
“I think they know what I expect of them in terms of attitude on and off the court. I’m not going to be looking for anything particularly different down the stretch. As a team we need to rally down the stretch and they will certainly be a part of that,” said Templar.
Woods agreed with Templar stating that the team is less focused on individual numbers and focused on getting more wins this semester.
“We’re definitely looking for more wins this year against teams that we lost to in the first semester, so we have a different mentality. We’re coming in more anxious and excited, so hopefully the rest of the season goes well,” said Woods.
While this might be the last year Woods and Donnan will be playing Lancers volleyball, Templar is certain the Lancers name will be well represented in years to come.
“We have a good relationship now and it’s really open and honest and that’s all we can ask at the end of the day. I think they’ll go and represent Loyalist and our team really well after this,” said Templar.