CIS women’s volleyball Friday roundup: Spartans claim first ever Canada West title

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Feb 20, 2015

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Ottawa 3 Guelph 1 Final Box Score
OUA Semi-Final (Final Four @ Guelph – W.F. Mitchell Athletic Centre)

Source: Ottawa Gee-Gees

The uOttawa Gee-Gees women’s volleyball team will return to the OUA gold medal match for the fourth straight season following a 3-1 win over the host Guelph Gryphons in the semi final Friday night. Second year left side attacker Kaly Soro led the way with 18 points, including the final point of the match to clinch the 25-19, 16-25, 25-19, 25-16 win.

Soro had three service aces and 15 kills in the win while Myriam English was named the Player of the Match with 12 kills and 15 digs. English was the emotional leader for Ottawa when Guelph came back with an impressive second set to tie up the match and threatened to take over in the third.

“I really felt Myriam and Sabrina [Roy] in particular helped our emotion and drive in the third,” said Gee-Gees head coach Lionel Woods. “Guelph found a crack in our play and we looked uncomfortable for a bit but really came together to change our rhythm of play.”

The teams went point for point in early going. The Gee-Gees blockers picked up some big points in the first set, helping Ottawa separate to a 14-11 lead. The lead grew to 17-13 before some lapses on the Gee-Gees side let the score creep back to 18-17. An ace from Kelsie English gave Ottawa some breathing room and the offensive rhythm fell into place. Kelsie English finished off the first with a hit from the right side.

Guelph pulled ahead 9-6 to start the second set, causing an Ottawa timeout. Two Ottawa attack errors added to the Gryphons lead 11-6. The run continued to 16-6 thanks to excellent serving by Rebecca Breau keeping Ottawa on its heels.

A long rally was won by Ottawa to stop the run at 16-7 but Guelph had all of the momentum and took the set 25-16. Ottawa did score a flurry of solid points at the end of the set, setting themselves up for the third.

Guelph grabbed a 9-5 lead to start the third. A big swing by Myriam English landed at 11-8 and she would score again to make it 11-10 before Alix Durivage floated an ace over to tie things up. Another ace extended the lead to 18-15. The Gryphons clawed back to 20-18 but misfired late and saw Ottawa take it 25-19.

The Gee-Gees opened a 10-4 lead in the fourth. A big block from Tome and Durivage put Ottawa ahead 14-7 and an ace by Kelsie trickled over the tape 15-7. The Gryphons staged a late rally to make it 18-12 however Ottawa would not falter down the stretch.

The Gee-Gees will face the winner of the second semi final between the Western Mustangs and the Toronto Varsity Blues. The OUA gold medal game will begin at 8:30 p.m. and will be webcast on OUA.tv

UBC 3 UBC Okanagan 1 Final Box Score | Recap
Canada West Third Place Match

EDMONTON – The UBC Thunderbirds, winners of six of the last seven national championship trophies, picked up the Canada West bronze medal, as well as a berth into the CIS tournament thanks to a 3-1 (13-25, 25-20, 25-19 and 25-15) win over the UBC Okanagan Heat in the conference third place game on Friday afternoon at the Saville Community Sports Centre.

The Canada West Final Four victory gives UBC the bronze medal, but more importantly sends them to University of Toronto next weekend, where they will contend for the national championship as the third and final seed out of Canada West.

They’ll advance to the U of T hosted tournament along with the University of Alberta Pandas and the Trinity Western Spartans, who will meet in the Canada West gold medal match on Friday at 8:30 p.m. MST.

It almost didn’t look to be the case, however, as the Birds were hammered in the opening set by the Heat, one night after dropping a five set semifinal heartbreaker to the Pandas.

The Heat, a program that was ranked in the CIS top two for much of the season, owned their UBC-based rivals in the match opener, cranking out 11 kills, a .308 hitting percentage and three aces to take a 1-0 match lead thanks to a 25-13 score line. Canada West first team all-star Katy Klomps was a force for UBC-O, recording four kills and a sterling .800 hitting percentage to pace the Heat to the first set win.

“That match had four factors we had to overcome,” noted UBC head coach Doug Reimer, “the pressure of the national championship berth on the line, a short turnaround from a tough loss last night, no time to prepare for the opponent and we got absolutely shelled in the first set. The fact that we won shows the growth this team has had this year, and I’m just really proud of the effort and our ability to finish sets even when it isn’t going perfect for us.”

The T-Birds roared to life in the second as they put together a six-point run to pick up a 15-4 lead that morphed into a 16-9 advantage at the technical timeout. UBC closed out the set 25-20 to bring the match to 1-1.

“I think, after that first set, the fact that we rebounded to win the second set was the key to this win,” said Reimer. “We obviously didn’t play well in the first, we still weren’t great in the second, but we got the match to level footing, and from there we started playing the kind of game we are capable of playing.”

After taking the third set 25-19, the Birds got a strong performance from 2014 CIS player of the year Lisa Barclay in the fourth. Barclay, who is originally from Brandon, Manitoba and is a member of the Canadian national team, picked up three kills in the fourth, including the match winner to finish with 12 kills, one ace, five digs, a .345 hitting percentage and player of the game honours.

“I thought she had a tremendous match,” said Reimer. “Between mono in the first half of the season, and her ankle injury in the second half, it hasn’t been an easy year for her, but you could just see her power and determination tonight. You knew she was going to give everything she had in order for this game not to be her last CIS match. I loved her game today.”

Rosie Schlagintweit led the UBC hit parade, finishing with a match high 17 kills, while Danielle Brisebois earned 16 kills in the win. After the tough first set, in which UBC recorded a .034 team hitting percentage, the Thunderbirds finished with an even .300 percentage by match end. They also overcame 19 service errors, but did throw up 14.5 total blocks.

UBC-O, meanwhile, was led by 10 kills each from Megan Festival and Klomps, while Festival also spun a match high four aces and brought up seven digs to earn player of the game honours for the Heat.

The Thunderbirds will now head to Toronto to compete in the CIS national championship tournament, which runs Feb. 26 to March 1 at the University of Toronto.

Laval 0 Montreal 3 Final Box Score
RSEQ Finale
Western 2 Toronto 3 Final Box Score
OUA Semi-Final (Final Four @ Guelph – W.F. Mitchell Athletic Centre)

Source: Toronto Varsity Blues

The No. 3 nationally ranked University of Toronto Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team defeated the Western Mustangs 3-2 (25-7, 15-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-7) in OUA semi-final action on Friday night (Feb. 20) in Guelph, Ont.

The Blues advance to their first OUA final since 2010 and will face the Ottawa Gee-Gees for the OUA banner on Saturday night (Feb. 21) at 8:30 p.m. in Guelph. The game will be streamed live on OUA.tv.

“We started very strong and finished strong,” said Kristine Drakich, who was named OUA East coach of the year for the eighth time in her career this past week. “Western played very well after the first set and the match had a lot of ups and downs. We weathered a few storms, stayed the course and a solid finish closed it out.”

Fifth-year left side hitter Charlotte Sider notched her 1,000th career kill (regular season and playoffs) in recording a team-high 17.5 points on the night. The Ottawa native tallied 14 kills, four blocks and one ace.

Third-year standout Caleigh Cruickshank led the Blues with 15 kills and had seven digs and two blocks, while Jennifer Neilson added 10 kills, nine digs and seven blocks. Fellow veteran Bojana Radan was unstoppable at the net, notching 13 blocks and seven kills.

Third-year setter Madelyn Mandryk added 45 assists and eight digs, while libero Asli Ersozoglu recorded 16 digs in the win.

The Mustangs were led by Aja Gyimah’s 16-kill performance.

The Blues will be out for revenge over the Gee-Gees tomorrow night, after the No. 6 Ottawa team spoiled Toronto’s perfect regular season record with a 3-2 decision two weeks ago.

Trinity Western 3 Alberta 2 Final Box Score | Recap
Canada West Gold Medal Match

EDMONTON – The Trinity Western Spartans captured their first Canada West women’s volleyball championship in program history thanks to a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 (23-25, 17-25, 25-21, 25-23 and 17-15) victory over the host University of Alberta Pandas at the Saville Community Sports Centre on Friday night.

The Spartans, winners of six other Canada West medals, finally found their glory by methodically working their way back from a 2-0 deficit to take the game in five sets, including a tense fifth set which they won 17-15.

“We had to figure out Alberta’s systems, and figure out where we could get points and where we could limit them,” explained Trinity head coach Ryan Hofer. “That’s what happened in those first two sets. We were trying to figure out how to play Alberta, because they were playing so well and they have such a strong serving game, and we needed to see where we could gain the advantage and expose them.

“We had to not get frustrated,” Hofer continued about the 2-0 deficit. “We could feel that frustration, because we weren’t performing like we knew we could, and Alberta was playing great. We had to stay relaxed and grind one out, get that first win and move on from there.”

Leading the way for the Spartans was third-year outside hitter Sophie Carpentier as she finished with a team high 18 kills, while teammate Alicia Perrin cranked 14 kills, a .242 hitting percentage, one ace and five block assists. The fifth-year middle from Creston, B.C. is a four-time Canada West all-star, and she capped off her final conference championship appearance with the tournament MVP honours.

“It’s not just her performance,” stated Hofer about Perrin, “it’s her leadership and what she does to inspire and help these girls stay focused. She’s worked hard for five years; she’s been in this game before and came away with silver. She wanted this game; she pushed hard and led her teammates tonight.”

Alberta, ranked No.1 in CIS coming into the weekend, claims the silver medal as well as the second seed from Canada West at the CIS championship tournament, which runs February 26 to March 1 at the University of Toronto. TWU has the top seed from the conference, while the UBC Thunderbirds will collect the third seed at the national championship event.

The Pandas were led offensively by two-time Canada West all-star Meg Casault, a third-year outside hitter from Edmonton, who banked a match high 22 kills, while Kacey Otto collected 11 kills and a match high six aces on the night. Casault earned player of the game honours for the Pandas.

Alberta looked well on its way to earning its 11th Canada West banner, and first since 2012, as they opened up the match with an impressive 2-0 lead.

Riding the strong service game of Otto, who earned five aces in the first two sets combined, as well as eight kills from Casault, the Pandas were poised to make the gold medal match a quick event after winning 25-23 and 25-17 in the first two sets. They even came back from an 8-3 deficit in the first set to earn the narrow victory.

In the third set, however, the match settled down and found its rhythm as the two teams stayed within four points of each other, but with the Spartans slowly beginning to take over. They strung together a 5-1 lead to start, but were tied with the Pandas at 10-10. Alberta then scored four of the next six points, but the Spartans responded by rolling off three straight to lead 16-14 at the technical break. Carpentier scored a quick pair of points to lead TWU to a 21-17 advantage, and they never looked back as they took the third set 25-21.

The fourth set looked like a rebound set for the Pandas as they opened with leads of 7-2 and 14-7. Trinity, however, refused to give in, scoring a 6-0 run before Alberta would net a pair to go into the technical timeout up 16-14.

After some back and forth play, Trinity jumped ahead 22-21 following two kills by Perrin and an attack error by the Pandas. A service error tied the game at 22-22, but Carpentier secured the win with two kills in the final three points to level the match at 2-2.

In the fifth, the Pandas once again came out strong to start, earning a 5-2 lead, but once again, TWU was able to chip away at the deficit and take over the set at 10-7 thanks to four attack errors by the Pandas. Alberta got kills from Dione Lang and Otto, as well as an ace from Josephine Doerfler, to tie the match at 10-10, but the Spartans then regained the advantage at 14-12.

Back-to-back attack errors by TWU tied the set at 14-14, but kills by Carpentier and Royal Richardson, coupled with another attack error by the Pandas sent the Spartans to the 17-15 set win, and the 3-2 gold medal victory.

“It’s overwhelming” said Hofer of the program’s first ever title. “You realize how hard it is to win this championship and how much work goes into making this happen. I’m awestruck and totally proud of these girls and how hard they’ve worked to make this happen. And not just this season, they’ve been working for this moment since our last game last season.”

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