QUEBEC CITY — Four Laval players reached double figures in scoring as the Rouge et Or swept the No.9-ranked McGill University women’s volleyball squad 3-0 at Centre PEPS in the provincial capital Saturday, to clinch a playoff berth.
With both teams facing a must-win result to qualify for post-season play, the first set was a back-and-forth affair, with Laval leading 23-22 before putting it away 25-22. That seemed to deflate the Martlets and they were beaten fairly easily over the final two sets, 25-14 and 25-15.
The result knocked the hard-luck Martlets out playoff contention for the third straight season in the four-team RSEQ conference. McGill finished in the cellar, despite an 11-8 record, their highest win total since posting a 13-7 record in 2009-10. Unfortunately for the Martlets, they play in the most competitive of the four CIS conferences in terms of making the playoffs. Three wins separate first from last, with only one game left on the RSEQ calendar, namely a Montreal-Sherbrooke matchup on Sunday.
“We started off well in the first set and capitalized on a few mistakes by Laval but they regained some confidence, began to hit well and we were unable to dig the ball,” said McGill head coach Rachele Beliveau who completed her 24th season with a 521-478-2 career record in 1,001 games overall.
Laval had a 47-29 margin in kills, a 59-51 advantage in digs and a 6-1 edge in stuff blocks. Both teams had four service aces.
“We’ve played a lot of matches that were of high intensity and required high mental concentration over the last few weeks but I think that the loss to Sherbrooke (at home on Friday) carried over to today’s game and affected us. It was tough way to end to a really good season. We had great performances against strong teams and showed much improvement. We were digging better, playing more as a team, hitting and blocking better. We were that close and it really could’ve gone either way.”
Sophie Allaire and Alyssa Fields-Bouchard paced the Rouge et Or attack with 13 points apiece.
Virginie Hebert, playing in her final game for McGill led the Martlets with 8.5 points, on eight kills and an assisted block. She also was credited with one dig. Teammates Marie-Eve Dorion and Marie-Christine Lapointe had six and five points, respectively. Lapointe, an alternate captain who was also suiting up for the last time, had five kills and a game-high 15 digs.
McGill finished the season with a 19-17 record overall, including an 11-8 mark in RSEQ play.
Laval, which improved to 13-6 and will meet Sherbrooke (12-6) in the conference’s best-of-three semifinals, while first-place Montreal (14-4) will close out the regular season against Sherbrooke before getting a first-round playoff bye. The final two teams left standing in the RSEQ conference will advance to the CIS Final Eight championship in Toronto, Feb. 27 to Mar. 1.
McGill Sports Info Office
Short Box Score Laval 3, McGill 1 (25-22, 25-14, 25-15) Martlets (Kills-aces-blocks) - Virginie Hebert 8-0-1; Marie-Eve Dorion 5-1-0; Marie-Christine Lapointe 5-0-0; Catherine Amyot 3-1-0; Myriam Robitaille 2-2-0; Emilie Matte de Grasse 2-0-0; Ashley Norfleet 2-0-1; Yasmeen Dawoodjee 1-0-0; Marie-Pier Durivage 1-0-0; Totals 29-4-1.0. (Assists) - Yasmeen Dawoodjee 21. (Dig leaders) - Marie-Christine Lapointe 15; Marjolaine Ste-Marie 12 Laval (Kills-aces-blocks) - Alyssa Fields-B. 11-1-2; Sophie Dallaire 10-2-2; Esther Gilbert 9-1-1; Alice Cloutier 9-0-0; Valerie Lemay 7-0-5; Emilie Ducharme 1-0-0; Totals 47-4-6.0. (Assists) - Emilie Ducharme 43. (Dig leaders) - Valerie Lemay 13; Sophie Dallaire 13; Alice Cloutier 11; Audrea Bertrand 9; Emilie Ducharme 8 Site: Quebec City(PEPS) Date: Feb 7, 2015 Time: 1:15