UBC wins in straight sets for its first victory of the season

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Rosie Schlagintweit


VANCOUVER – The UBC Thunderbirds women’s volleyball team didn’t show any hangover effects from their first CIS loss last weekend, as they rebounded to take down the Mount Royal University Cougars 3-0 (25-13, 25-21, 25-16) Friday night at War Memorial Gym.

Head coach Doug Reimer was very happy with the women’s performance tonight.  

“I think our energy and work ethic was really positive,” said Reimer. “It wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was definitely an important win for us as we came into the weekend 0-2.”  

In the first set, play began evenly between the teams going one for one.  At 5-4, the Cougars started to trail after UBC’s Danielle Brisebois recorded a kill that marked a 5-0 run allowing UBC to take the lead and not look back.  Offensively, the women were tactful, varying their attack strategy and finding the holes in the Cougars defence. The ‘Birds put up a solid block at the net and made it difficult for MRU to get in any kills. Instead, the Cougars shyed away and sent over a lot of free balls and rolling shots, allowing UBC to set up a strong attack. The ‘Birds took the set 25-13.

The second set marked a bit of a turnaround for MRU’s attack strategy, as they made it difficult for UBC to make a run with the ball.  It wasn’t until UBC won off an attack error at 7-7 that the women were able to pull away and take the lead for the set.  Despite more intense kills from the Cougar’s, UBC’s dominant presence at the net and strong coverage of zones allowed them to recover and come back with a hit of their own.  The set ended with UBC’s Alissa Coulter and Nicola Laniuk stuffing an attack at the net giving UBC the win 25-21.

Although the Cougars again tried to match the ‘Birds point for point in the third, UBC’s smart coverage and attack strategy allowed them to pull away again.  Despite the ‘Birds being up, MRU’s tenacity brought in an epic rally which saw the ‘Birds throwing their bodies around to keep the point alive.  At 16-12, the Cougars were frazzled and called in a time-out to knock the ‘Birds strong momentum; however, UBC responded by giving up only four points and ending the match with a kill from Juliana Kaufmanis: 25-16.

As for notable performances tonight, Reimer commented on fifth year Rosie Schlagintweit: “She worked really hard and was efficient offensively.”  

Tonight, Schlagintweit finished with nine kills and scored 11.5 points for the ‘Birds.  He also mentioned second year setter Alessandra Gentile.

“Tonight she was smart with her choices and running of the offence. It showed a lot of potential.”

Reimer also pointed out that the women have responded well to new lineups.

“I’d like to give our players credit because we had to make some changes due to both injury and illness. The girls responded well and it was great to see different people contributing at different times tonight. It gets simpler if everyone does their job.”

The Thunderbirds will be back action against Mt. Royal tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at War Memorial Gym.

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