by Lindsay Franco
February 28, 2014, CALGARY (ISN) – The Dalhousie Tigers defeated the Montreal Carabins for the fourth time this season to qualify for the fifth place match to be played tomorrow when they won 3-2 (25-17, 27-29, 16-25, 25-23, 15-13) on the opening match of Day 2 of the CIS men’s volleyball championship.
CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mvball/index
It came down to the final two sets of the match where the Tigers turned up the heat and pulled off the win. Head coach Dan Ota was happy with his team’s ability to refocus.
“The last two days we’ve been emotionally too pumped up and our guys are getting distracted and just missing little details in the game and just failing to see some point opportunities out there. I think we just had to calm down and just refocus and think about basic things we had to do in our game plan. We were able to do that a little better in the fourth and fifth.”
“Montreal was a tough opponent as they always are and I knew it was going to be a close game. We were very bad in set three in particular, but that’s kind of how we’ve been all year; up and down, and able to find a way to pull it out in the fifth set. I’m glad our guys were able to do it again.”
The Tigers were led by second-year Kristen O’Brien who recorded 21 points in the match including 18 kills. Player of the Match Bryan Duquette added 12 kills, 10 digs and four aces for the Tigers. Setter Jonathan MacDonald recorded 48 assists and libero Logan Baillie added 11 digs.
For Montreal, Alyson Francillon recorded a game-high 23 kills and nine digs. Player of the Match Godefroy Veyron-Trudel added another 22 kills and a game-high 14 kills. Setter Mathieu Poirier recorded a game-high 55 assists in Montreal’s loss.
In the first, both teams remained all tied up until a 4-0 run from Dalhousie held up the Carabins offence. The Tigers biggest lead came at 20-14 despite some fantastic defence in the back row from Montreal. Dalhousie’s wall up front shut down the opposing offence as they sailed to a 25-17 win. Montreal’s Veyron-Trudel led all scorers with five kills.
The second set was quite the opposite as Montreal earned themselves a five point lead at the technical timeout. Dalhousie’s best efforts to close the gap didn’t occur until the set began to come to a close. With Maessen up front, his presence allowed the Tigers to tie the set up at 24. From there, both teams went point for point until it was Montreal who won it at 29-27 on a net call, tying the match up at one.
The Carabins blew out the Tigers in the second set, taking control at the technical and never looking back. Both Trudel and Francillon had hit double digits in kills for Montreal while Kristen O’Brien led all scorers for Dalhousie from the right-side. Montreal went ahead 2-1 with the 25-16 win.
In the fourth, both teams battled it out to the bitter end. Dalhousie’s 16-13 lead at the technical didn’t hold up as the Carabins closed the gap and tied it up at 19. The score remained tied at 22, but with Maessen up front, the middle from Dartmouth solidified the do-or-die win with a kill to force a fifth set.
With Montreal looking a tight in the fifth, the Tigers gained an 8-5 lead before switching sides for the final time of the match. The Carabins’ offence began clicking again nearing the end of the set as they tied it up at eleven, forcing the Tigers to call a timeout. Still trading points, Dalhousie was the first to 14 and ultimately won the following point with a hitting error from the Carabins.
Dalhousie’s Ota hopes his team will continue to improve and learn from the experience of being at the national championship.
“For our young group I think it’s great that we get to play on a third day of a tournament like this. You can’t buy this sort of experience and we need to learn from it. We made a lot of mistakes yesterday and today and hopefully we can keep improving every day and play our best match of the tournament tomorrow.”
The Dalhousie Tigers will await their opponent in the fifth place match. They will either take on the No. 3 Trinity Western Spartans, or the No. 7 Calgary Dinos at 1p.m.
Kills: Kristen O’Brien (18), Bryan Duquette (12)
Points: Kristen O’Brien (21), Bryan Duquette (17)
Blocks: Matthew Donovan (4.5), Connor Maessen (2)
Digs: Logan Baillie (11), Bryan Duquette (10) Service aces: Bryan Duquette (4), Kristen O’Brien (2)
Player of the match: Bryan Duquette
Kills: Alyson Francillon (23), Godefroy Veyron-Trudel (22)
Points: Godefroy Veyron-Trudel (27), Alyson Francillon (25)
Blocks: Mathieu Poirier, Alyson Francillon (3)
Digs: Godefroy Veyron-Trudel (14), Vincent Duval-Demers (12) Service aces: Godefroy Veyron-Trudel (5), Mathieu Poirier (1)
Player of the match: Godefroy Veyron-Trudel
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE (all times MOUNTAIN TIME)
Thursday, February 27
12:30 Quarter-final #1: No. 5 Laval 3 No. 4 Dalhousie 0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-22)
14:30 Quarter-final #2: No. 1 Alberta 3 No. 8 Montreal 0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-12)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 6 Western 3 No. 3 Trinity Western 2 (25-21, 22-25, 19-25, 27-25, 15-12)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 2 McMaster 3 No. 7 Calgary 1 (24-26, 21-25, 17-25, 22-25)
Friday, February 28
12:30 Consolation #1: No. 4 Dalhousie 3 No. 8 Montreal 2 (25-17, 27-29, 16-25, 25-23, 15-13)
14:30 Consolation #2: Trinity Western vs. Calgary
18:00 Semifinal #1: Laval vs. Alberta
20:00 Semifinal #2: Western vs. McMaster
Saturday, March 1
13:00 Dalhousie vs. Winner Consolation #2
15:00 Bronze medal
18:00 Championship final