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Mar 01, 2015

Photo credit Martin Bazyl

TORONTO (CIS) – The RSEQ champion Montreal Carabins earned their third CIS medal in program history, defeating the host Toronto Varsity Blues 3-2 (25-15, 20-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-10) in the bronze-medal match of the 2015 CIS women’s volleyball championship, presented by Canuck Stuff, Sunday afternoon at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.

Entering the tournament as the No. 4 seed, the Carabins defeated the UBC Thunderbirds in straight sets in the tournament opener on Thursday, before falling to the top-seeded Trinity Western Spartans 3-0 in semi-final action yesterday.

Montreal claims the bronze medal for the second time in the past seven years, after a program-best silver-medal finish in 2008.

Second-year outside hitter Marie-Alex Bélanger of Joliette, Que., led all players with 19 kills, while Marie-Sophie Nadeau (Saint-Aimé, Que.) had 15 kills, two aces and 17 digs. Setter Katia Forcier tallied 49 assists and 12 digs, with Stéphanie Gauthier adding a game-high 22 digs in the victory.

“Coming here this weekend we wanted the gold medal,” said Carabins head coach Olivier Trudel. “The injury to Vicky Savard changed the way we usually play. Playing today against Toronto on their home court was difficult because U of T showed a lot of character but we showed it too. Marie Sophie carried the team in the fifth set and played an intelligent match. It’s nice for her to end a great career with a medal at nationals.”

The host and OUA champion Varsity Blues tie their program-best fourth-place finish on the national stage (2001).

Fifth-year right side hitter Jennifer Neilson led the Blues with 14 points, seven digs and two blocks, while CIS all-Canadian Charlotte Sider added 13 kills and 12 digs. Bojana Radan notched seven kills and five blocks, while Caleigh Cruickshank had eight kills.

Setter Madelyn Mandryk tallied 39 assists and 16 digs, with libero Denise Wooding adding 19 digs in the loss.

“I think we had moments but we just couldn’t string them together consistently,” said Varsity Blues head coach Kristine Drakich. “Montreal played well. It was a good season overall and in a few weeks we’ll be able to reflect on that more. I think we brought our best in the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately for a couple of the crucial moments here, we weren’t able to bring our best. It was a tremendous experience for those who are going to continue on and important for them to see how to manage these types of moments. I’m really proud of all of the players and the team overall.”


Kills: Marie-Alex Bélanger (19), Marie-Sophie Nadeau (15)
Points: Marie-Alex Bélanger (19), Marie-Sophie Nadeau (18)
Blocks: Alexane L. Joly (4), Sarah Gosselin (4)
Digs: Stephanie Lojen (22)
Service aces: Katia Forcier (5)

Player of the match: Mikhaella Blanchette

Kills: Jennifer Neilson (14), Charlotte Sider (13)
Points: Jennifer Neilson (16), Charlotte Sider (14)
Blocks: Tessa Davis (2)
Digs: Denise Wooding (19)
Service aces: Caleigh Cruickshank (2)

Player of the match: Charlotte Sider


Thursday, February 26
13:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 4 Montreal 3, No. 5 UBC 0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-16)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: No. 1 Trinity Western 3, No. 8 Laval 2 (24-26, 24-26, 25-15, 25-16, 15-8)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 3 Toronto 3, No. 6 Dalhousie 0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-6)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 2 Alberta 3, No. 7 Ottawa 0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-18)

Friday, February 27
11:30 Consolation #1: UBC 3, Laval 0 (25-12, 25-21, 33-31)
13:30 Consolation #2: Ottawa 3, Dalhousie 0 (25-11, 25-20, 25-21)

Saturday, February 28
14:00 Semifinal #1: Trinity Western 3, Montreal 0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-18)
16:00 Semifinal #2: Alberta 3, Toronto 2 (20-25, 23-25, 25-15, 25-18, 15-13)

Sunday, March 1
11:30 5th place: Ottawa 3, UBC 0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-21)
14:00 Bronze medal: Montreal 3, Toronto 2 (25-15, 20-25, 20-25, 25-17, 15-10)
17:00 Championship final: Alberta vs Trinity Western (