CIS women’s volleyball Saturday roundup: No. 7 Gee-Gees spoil No. 1 Varsity Blues perfect season in 5-set thriller

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Feb 07, 2015

Photo credit Martin Bazyl

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Source: Toronto Varsity Blues

The No. 1 University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team suffered their first loss of the season, dropping a 3-2 (25-18, 27-25, 16-25, 23-25, 12-15) decision to the No. 7 Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday afternoon (Feb. 7) at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.

The Blues end the regular season with an 18-1 record, in first place in the OUA East division. The Varsity Blues await the final OUA regular season games to determine whether they face the Queen’s Gaels or Ryerson Rams. The top seeded Blues will host the No. 4 seed next Saturday, February 14 in OUA quarter-final action at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport. Game time is set for 2 p.m.

Fourth-year middle Bojana Radan led the Blues with 10 kills, eight blocks and six digs, while fifth-year veteran Jennifer Neilson had 12 kills, two aces, two blocks and 10 digs. Charlotte Sider added 10 kills and 13 digs, recording her 1200th career point (regular season & playoff) on the day. Denise Wooding notched a season-high 26 digs, while Maddy Mandryk tallied 36 assists and 11 digs in the loss.

Toronto got out to an early 6-1 lead and built a 12-5 advantage thanks to back-to-back aces from Neilson. Kelsie English rallied the Gee-Gees to keep it close and Toronto took a 16-11 lead at the break with a big block from Radan. Both teams traded points but a final kill from Cruickshank sealed the first set 25-18 as the Blues handed Ottawa their first set loss of 2015.

The Blues found themselves up 8-2 to start the second set, but Ottawa came back again. The game went back-and-forth and another block from Radan gave U of T a 16-9 lead at the second set break. Late in the set, Kelsie English came up with four-straight aces to give the visiting team a 25-24 lead, but Sider came up with three big kills to earn the 27-25 second set win.

The third set saw the Gee-Gees come out firing, building a 7-3 advantage. The Blues kept it close but an Ottawa ace gave the Gee-Gees a 16-10 lead at the technical timeout. A final kill from Alix Dunivage gave the Gee-Gees the 25-16 third set win.

The fourth set was a neck-and-neck battle as Toronto built a narrow 16-15 lead at the break. Tied 20-20, Ottawa went on a 4-0 streak to force the fifth set with a 25-23 win.

Kelsie English led all players with 18 points, notching nine kills, seven aces, two blocks and 17 digs. Myriam English added a game-high 15 kills and added 15 digs, while Kaly Soro had 13 kills and 15 digs in the victory.

GAME NOTES: Varsity Blues women’s volleyball honoured graduating players Bojana Radan, Sarah Chapin, Jennifer Nielson and Charlotte Sider in a special pre-game ceremony before taking on Ottawa.

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