Lancer women’s volleyball: The New Kids on the Block

By: Lauren Breadner

The Lancer women’s volleyball team added two rookies to their roster this season, but there is nothing inexperienced about these two athletes. Joining the Lancers this season are setter, Brooke Davis and outside hitter, Paige Phills.

“We have two very talented rookies this season,” Head Coach Lucas Hodgson stated. “Paige and Brooke will have a large impact on our team right away.”

Davis, a first-year Kinesiology student, from Oakville, Ontario and is no stranger to success. Previously playing for the Halton Hurricanes Volleyball Club, Davis won three consecutive Division I Tier I National Championships while also receiving All-Star achievements at provincial and national levels along the way.

“I am really enjoying the team and Lucas is great, so I am really excited to be here,” Davis says about her experience so far. “Both of my parents went to the University of Windsor and I look forward to being a part of the Lancer family for my university career.”

Davis started in her first Ontario University Athletics (OUA) game on October 27, where she recorded 65 assists against Waterloo and Guelph. Coach Hodgson is looking to capitalize on Davis’ club experience and early success with the team to be a leader for the Lancers.

“Being a setter and starting as a rookie is tough,” Coach Hodgson stated. “You are kind of the quarterback as you run the offense for your team, but she does all of this really well for a rookie.”

Phills, a first-year Kinesiology student, is the other rookie joining Davis on the court this season for the Lancers. Phills, a 6’0” outside hitter, is a graduate of the South County Bandits Volleyball Club from Windsor, Ontario.

“I have been around a volleyball court since I was five,” Phills reflected. “I have been practicing with the team for a while now and I am excited to see where we go this season.”

Phills has won multiple MVP awards during her volleyball career and Coach Hodgson is looking forward to adding local talent to his roster. During her first-ever regular season games, Phills recorded 25 kills against the Waterloo Warriors and Guelph Gryphons, which placed her in the top five for kills in the OUA.

“Paige is probably one of the best kids to come out of the city in a while,” Coach Hodgson stated about Phills. “She plays with high intensity and is very physical. She will be a very, very tough kid to stop.”

Last season the Lancers stalled at just five regular season wins which were only good enough for a sixth-place finish in the Western Conference of the OUA. They missed the playoffs. So far this season the Lancers have a 2-2 mark, but Coach Hodgson has a very specific goal in mind for his team.

“Playoffs or bust,” Coach Hodgson says. “We have had a few injuries the past couple of years and it has been frustrating. This year, our team should be a playoff team and if we don’t qualify, we will be disappointed with ourselves.”

The Lancers have their home opener against the McMaster Marauders on Saturday, November 11 at 1 pm in the St. Denis Centre and they are looking to capitalize on their early found momentum. The rookies will be looking to pass expectations, set the standards, and kill the competition.

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