QUARTERFINAL #1: Montreal returns to national semis
Courtesy of McMaster University sports information / Photo credit Jay Rautins
HAMILTON, Ont. (CIS) – The third-seeded Montreal Carabins earned a berth in the semifinals for the first time in three years as they defeated the No. 6 Trinity Western Spartans in a close four-set match (25-22, 11-25, 25-21, 25-23) in the first quarter-final of the CIS women’s volleyball championship at McMaster University’s Burridge Gymnasium, Friday afternoon.
Marie-Sophie Nadeau was named player of the match for Quebec champion Montreal thanks to her 14 kills and nine digs. The second-year outside hitter from Saint-Aimé, Que., was voted RSEQ MVP and a first-team all-Canadian this season.
Sophie Bergeron-Leblanc was second on the team with six kills, while Mélanie Roy also chipped in defensively with 11 digs.
After reaching the CIS final for the first time in program history in 2008 and claiming bronze in 2009, the Carabins were eliminated in the first round of the national tournament each of the past two years. In Saturday’s first semifinal at 6 p.m., they will face either No. 2 UBC or No. 7 Queen’s.
Trinity Western moves to the consolation side of the draw and will take on the loser of the UBC-Queen’s quarter-final Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We were facing a Canada West opponent in the first round for the third year in a row, and the past two seasons things didn’t go our way. That was hard on the girls. So we’re obviously very pleased with this win,” said Montreal head coach Oliver Trudel.
“Trinity Western is arguably one of the best blocking teams in the country so we had to play smart,” continued the RSEQ coach of the year. “Marie-Sophie was very, very good today, and that’s what we expect from her. She’s at a point in her career where she can play against any team in the country. She brought her A game today.”
Amy Leschied was the Spartans’ game MVP after totalling 10 kills and 10 digs. Left-side Royal Richardson scored a game-high 15 kills, while setter Chelsea Hudson recorded 37 assists.
“It’s tough to play a team like this in the first round but I thought the team was prepared and I thought the things we were doing to put them in trouble were working but we just didn’t execute some stuff on our side,” said Ryan Hofer, head coach of Canada West bronze medallist Trinity Western. “There is a lot of weight in this game in regards to the serve pass. Without question you have to win those two battles or at least do very well in them. And we struggled in that area, especially the serving. It’s tough to say it but that’s what it came down to.”
In the first set, despite Montreal’s six-point lead at 11-5, the Spartans went on a 5-0 run after a timeout to get back within one. The middle portion of the set would see the teams battle it out until Montreal took another large advantage at 22-17. Trinity Western was unable to overcome the deficit with the No. 3 Carabins taking the first frame 25-22.
Trinity Western got revenge in a big way in the second, dominating 25-11 to even up the match at 1-1.
The Spartans resumed their domination early in the third set and built a seven-point cushion at 10-3 before Montreal finally began to put up a fight. After tying the score at 14 all, the Carabins kept the game tight, tying it again at 19. A 4-0 run would come at the perfect time, pushing Montreal ahead at 23-19 en route to a 25-21 win.
In a thrilling final set, the Carabins took an early 9-2 lead, forcing the Spartans to call a timeout. It wouldn’t help as Montreal headed into the technical timeout up 16-10. Soon after, Montreal’s six-point lead evaporated as the Spartans found a way to tie it up at 20. Despite an extremely hard-fought end to the frame, TWU was unable to overcome the RSEQ champions and Montreal advanced to the CIS semifinals with a 25-23 victory.
Kills: Marie-Sophie Nadeau (14), Sophie Bergeron-Leblanc (6)
Points: Marie-Sophie Nadeau (15.5), Sophie Bergeron-Leblanc (8.5)
Blocks: Gabrielle Vallée-Vachon (4), Pamela Drapeau (3)
Digs: Mélanie Roy (11), Emmanuelle Marin (10)
Service aces: Pamela Drapeau (4)
Assists: Maude Ménard-Ouellette (20)
Player of the match: Marie-Sophie Nadeau
Kills: Royal Richardson (15), Amy Leschied (10)
Points: Royal Richardson (19.5), Alicia Perrin (15)
Blocks: Alicia Perrin (4)
Digs: Kelci French (13), Amy Leschied (10)
Service aces: Amber Brown (2), Royal Richardson (2), Alicia Perrin (2)
Assists: Chelsea Hudson (37)
Player of the match: Amy Leschied
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
NOTE: Live webcast of all games on SSN Canada.
NOTE: Live broadcast of championship semifinals and Sunday games on Cable 14 (Hamilton).
Friday, March 2
13:00 Quarter-final #1: Montreal 3, Trinity Western 1 (25-22, 11-25, 25-21, 25-23)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: No. 2 UBC vs. No. 7 Queen’s
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 4 Saint Mary’s vs. No. 5 McGill
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 8 McMaster
Saturday, March 3
13:00 Consolation #1: Trinity Western vs. Loser QF #2
15:00 Consolation #2: Loser QF #3 vs. Loser QF #4
18:00 Semifinal #1: Montreal vs. Winner QF #2
20:00 Semifinal #2: Winner QF #3 vs. Winner QF #4
Sunday, March 4
11:00 5th place
13:00 Bronze medal
16:00 Championship final