The NAIT Ooks men's volleyball team led by head coach Doug Anton are set for another season of ACAC competition, as they open up their season on Friday against the Lakeland Rustlers.
Even though six new faces were added to the squad, the 2017-18 season was a solid one for the men's volleyball program. The strong pre-season play was followed with even stronger league results, by the Christmas break the team was situated solidly in second place in the ACAC North Division. The team continued to excel in the New Year with a 3-0 win over the league-leading, and CCAA #5 ranked Keyano College Huskies and second place locked down by the start of February. The team would fall short at the Conference Championship as they lost to the Briercrest Clippers in the quarterfinals. Three players also received ACAC All-Conference honours: Cole Burkart, Mitch Lewington, and Devon Klein. Burkart also received a CCAA All-Canadian nod, only the fifth player in NAIT men's volleyball history to receive the honour.
"We didn't achieve the result we wanted, but there are a lot of positives to take away from last season," said head coach Doug Anton.
With a strong core of returning players plus former captain Oliver McSwain re-joining the team, the Ooks will be looking to continue their success in the 2018-2019 season.
"The North (ACAC North Division) is wide open, Keyano should take the #1 spot, but after that, it will come down to who can play well consistently," said Anton. "It should be a fun year; the team is full of enthusiastic young players who want to make their mark. We also feel like we have some of the top talents in the division when it comes to some key positions."
The Ooks travel to Lloydminster on Friday to take on the Lakeland College Rustlers at 8:00 pm. They will then host the Rustlers in their home opener on Saturday at 8:00 pm in the NAIT Gymnasium.