CONSOLATION #2: CIS championship: Blues upset Montreal; to play Regina for 5th place
Courtesy of University of Alberta sports information
EDMONTON (CIS) – Ontario University Athletics player of the year Heather Bansley banked a single-match tournament-high 24 kills as the No. 6-seeded Toronto Varsity Blues defeated the No. 2 Montreal Carabins in five sets (26-24, 25-22, 24-26, 22-25, 16-14) in the second consolation semifinal at the 2010 CIS women’s volleyball championship hosted by the University of Alberta, Saturday afternoon.
Championship website (live webcasts): http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball
The loss completes a shocking weekend showing by the Carabins, as they strode into Edmonton undefeated and as the QSSF champions. They dropped their quarter-final match to the hometown and No. 7 Alberta Pandas Friday night, and then had to comeback against Toronto just to win a set this weekend. They return to La Belle Province after two straight losses, and with a myriad of questions as to what went wrong.
Outside of Bansley’s offensive efforts, she also recorded three aces and 13 digs. Also chipping in was Kristina Valjas with 16 kills, and Toronto player of the match, setter Kathleen Mahannah. The North Vancouver, B.C., native had one kill, 45 assists, two aces and eight digs.
Former two-time CIS player of the year Laetitia Tchoualack paced the Montreal offence with 18 kills but struggled with her serve and serve receive game. Originally from Paris, France, Tchoualack had four service errors and was flagged for three serve receive mistakes. She did, however, lead all players on the floor with 23 digs, despite suffering a knee-injury on Friday.
Bansley, a fifth-year left-side from Waterdown, Ont., led CIS this season in kills, as well as in service aces and points per match.
She certainly led her team against Montreal on Saturday, and now the Blues will meet No. 4 Regina in the fifth-place game on Sunday.
“Oh boy, did she ever play well today,” gushed Toronto head coach Kristine Drakich, now in her 21st season along the Varsity Blue sideline.
“I mean, she did it all for us; attacked well, aces, defended well, and just led us when we needed to be led. It was such a big effort from her, and I’m really proud of her and the whole team’s performance. It’s never easy to win at these tournaments after losing the first game, but they delivered even when faced with adversity today.”
In Saturday’s consolation final, Toronto looked like they might sweep the Quebec champions in straight sets, after jumping out to a 2-0 lead.
The two teams were close through the opening set’s first 16 points, with Montreal leading at the second technical timeout by just one point
But, from there, Toronto went on an 8-2 run to lead 23-17, only to see the Carabins climb back to within one point. Bansley helped end the first set for her Blues, winning 26-24.
After Toronto took the second set 25-22, Montreal started the third with a 3-0 lead, and another one-point second technical timeout advantage.
Toronto then jumped up 18-16, and then 20-17, before Montreal tied it at 21. They then swapped leads back and forth, with eventually les Carabins winning their first set of the tournament, 26-24.
Bansley spun two aces to pace the Blues to a 4-1 fourth set lead, but Tchoualack woke up and pounded away on the Toronto defence, powering her side to a 25-22 win, and a tie match score.
In the fifth, Montreal was teetering on the edge of victory leading 14-10, but were stunned as Toronto rolled off six straight points to snatch the win from the jaws of defeat.
“You never know how much character your team has until you’re faced with a situation where you have to prove it, and today, they did,” said Drakich.
“We wanted to play a Sunday match, and now we are. It was important to us to play tomorrow, we have five graduating players that all wanted to play three matches this weekend, and because of the effort today, we will.”
NOTES: The two teams had played two previous times at CIS championships in the past, with each team winning one match... The Varsity Blues won 3-2 in the fifth-place game at the 2004 championship... But the last time the teams were in Edmonton together, at the ’99 championship, the Carabins posted a 3-2 win in the consolation semi-final.
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times LOCAL: Mountain Time)
Friday, March 5
Quarter-final #1: No. 1 UBC 3, No. 8 Saint Mary’s 0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-13)
Quarter-final #2: No. 5 Laval 3, No. 4 Regina 0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-19)
Quarter-final #3: No. 3 Manitoba 3, No. 6 Toronto 0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-19)
Quarter-final #4: No. 7 Alberta 3, No. 2 Montreal 0 (25-20, 25-18, 27-25)
Saturday, March 6
Consolation #1: Regina 3, Saint Mary’s 0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-9)
Consolation #2: Toronto 3, Montreal 2 (26-24, 25-22, 24-26, 22-25, 16-14)
18:30 Semi-final #1: No. 1 UBC vs. No. 5 Laval (SSN Canada webcast)
20:00 Semi-final #2: No. 3 Manitoba vs. No. 7 Alberta (SSN Canada webcast)
Sunday, March 7
12:00 No. 6 Toronto vs. No. 4 Regina
15:00 Bronze medal (SSN Canada webcast)
18:00 Championship final (SSN Canada webcast)