TORONTO (CIS) – The seventh seeded Ottawa Gee-Gees defeated the UBC Thunderbirds 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-21) in Sunday afternoon’s consolation final to place fifth at the 2015 CIS women’s volleyball championship, presented by Canuck Stuff.
The Gee-Gees finish the 2015 tournament 2-1, their first multi-victory performance on the national stage since 1981. Ottawa placed fourth at the 2013 championship. It also marked the Gee-Gees first victory over a Canada West team since defeating Manitoba at the 2007 tournament.
Playing in their final game as Gee-Gees, fifth-year outside hitters Kelsie and Myriam English of Orleans, Ont., led Ottawa with six and 11 kills, respectively. Myriam added two aces and 10 digs, with Kelsie recording two aces and a team-high 15 digs.
Setter Kira Tome tallied 27 assists and five digs, with fifth-year libero Stephanie Theiler adding four digs in the win.
“It was one of our cleanest matches all year,” said Gee-Gees head coach Lionel Woods. “What a way to finish the season. The trio of the English twins and Steph are so very good. You know every team has their core that grows for four years, and that was our latest one. We’ll never replace them. I think all three of them might have had their best match as a trio together all season.”
It was the first time in eight seasons the UBC did not appear in the championship final. The reigning six-time champions were dethroned by the Manitoba Bisons in last year’s gold-medal match and opened the 2015 tournament with a quarter-final loss to the RSEQ champion Montreal Carabins on Thursday.
Third-year left side hitter Danielle Brisebois of Bolton, Ont., led all players with 13 kills, while Lisa Barclay notched seven kills and Juliana Kaufmanis added a game-high 17 digs en route to player of the match honours.
Ottawa got out to an 8-1 lead in the first and despite a rally from UBC, the Gee-Gees took a 16-11 lead at the technical timeout. Barclay brought the T-Birds within three, but Ottawa closed out the set with a kill from Myriam English, 25-20.
It was much closer to start the second set but the Gee-Gees pulled ahead to take a 16-12 lead at the break. UBC again kept pace, but the Gee-Gees held on to win the second 25-22.
The third set was a back and forth battle from the get-go, with Ottawa leading 16-13 at the technical timeout. Brisebois evened the set at 19-19, but the Gee-Gees ended the match on a 6-2 streak to seal the straight set victory.
It was the last match in a Thunderbirds uniform for graduating players Barclay, Abbey Keeping (Surrey, B.C.) and Rosie Schlagintweit (Abbotsford, B.C).
Complete Stats: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball/2015/championship
Kills: Myriam English (11), Kaly Soro (6), Kelsie English (6)
Points: Myriam English (13), Kelsie English (9)
Blocks: Sophie Chenail (2)
Digs: Kelsie English (15)
Service aces: Kelsie English (2), Myriam English (2), Kira Tome (2), Alix Durivage (2)
Player of the match: Alix Durivage
Kills: Danielle Brisebois (13), Lisa Barclay (7)
Points: Danielle Brisebois (15), Lisa Barclay (8), Abbey Keeping (8)
Blocks: Abbey Keeping (1), Emily Cicon (1)
Digs: Juliana Kaufmanis (17)
Service aces: Abbey Keeping (2), Danielle Brisebois (2)
Player of the match: Juliana Kaufmanis