CONSOLATION #2: Saint Mary’s joins TWU in consolation final
Courtesy of McMaster University sports information
HAMILTON, Ont. (CIS) – The fifth-seeded Saint Mary’s Huskies survived a scare from tournament host McMaster to advance to the consolation final of the CIS women’s volleyball championship for the first time in program history. Down two sets to none, the AUS champions rallied to beat the No. 8 Marauders 24-26, 14-25, 25-9, 25-21 and 15-7 at Burridge Gymnasium, Saturday afternoon.
Saint Mary’s has never finished higher than seventh at the CIS championship and today’s win guarantees them a finish no less than sixth place. The Huskies tied for seventh in each of their six previous appearances, including the last time in 2010.
Saint Mary’s will face No. 6 Trinity Western Sunday at 11 a.m. Eastern in the consolation final. Should the Huskies prevail, they would give the Atlantic conference its best finish since Dalhousie claimed the CIS title back in 1982 (the only CIS women’s volleyball banner by an AUS team). The last AUS squad to battle for fifth place was Moncton, which lost 3-0 to Laval in 2002.
For their part, the host Marauders end the tourney with an 0-2 record. They had placed sixth in 2008 in their only previous appearance.
All-Canadian Kerri Smit earned Saint Mary’s player-of-the-game honours for the second straight day following a 24.5-point effort. The fifth-year left side hitter has tallied a total of 52.5 points in two games to lead the tournament.
The Huskies rebounded after a tough five-set loss to No. 5 McGill in their opener on Friday.
“I think we really showed how we didn’t want to go into the locker room [with a loss] felling like we did yesterday,” said Smit. “We did what we had to do and got the job done, but hopefully we can come out tomorrow hard right from the get go and represent the AUS well.”
For the Marauders, left-side Kailee Stock of Newmarket, Ont. tallied a team-high 15 kills. Libero Meagan Nederveen had a game-high 22 digs in McMaster's last game of the season. Shannon McRobert was named Player of the Game for her 8 kills, 4.5 blocks and 2 aces and reflected on her CIS Championship experience.
“I thought we fought hard and I’m so proud of my team,” said McRobert. “Sometimes it just doesn’t go the way you want. We started out strong and it doesn’t matter what the outcome was; it just didn’t go our way in the end. This was a good learning experience for us and I’m proud of our team regardless.”
The home team started the match off strong with a 5-1 lead, but the Huskies would find a way to tie it up at 10. From there, Saint Mary's would hold a slight two point lead to the technical timeout. Later in the set, the lead would change a number of times with both teams fighting hard both at the net and on defence. The Huskies would go ahead 24-23, but it would take a 3-0 run by the Marauders to close out the first set 26-24 for the win.
The second set saw the Marauders take it to the Huskies. With a 7-0 streak early in the first thanks to a serving run from Marauder Shannon McRobert of Whitby, Ont., McMaster was able to build up a nine point lead at 18-9. They would finish off the set strong, able to pick up balls from a number of places on the court to go ahead 2-0 in the match with a 25-14 win.
Saint Mary's was able to get revenge on the home team in the third set. Allowing McMaster to score just nine points, fifth-year Smit of Shubenacadie, N.S. extended her points tally to 16 with kills and blocks from the left side. The Huskies cruised past the Marauders in the third with a score of 25-9.
The match continued to be a rollercoaster as the Huskies took off early on with an 11-2 lead. The Marauders wouldn't start to mount a comeback until late in the set. Down 22-17, McMaster would go on a 4-0 run to get within one. Saint Mary's would pull out the win at 25-21 though, forcing a fifth set for the second time of their Championship run.
In the fifth and final match, with a 5th place game on the line, the Saint Mary's Huskies came out on fire. A serving streak of six points from right-side Ariel Smith of Yarmouth, N.S. helped the No. 5 Huskies earn a nine point lead and from there, the Huskies would oust the Marauders with a score of 15-7 and would advance themselves to a 5th place match for Sunday morning.
Kills: Kerri Smit (20)
Points: Kerri Smit (24.5)
Blocks: Kerri Smit (4.5)
Digs: Kerri Smit (21), Anastasia Callaghan (18)
Service aces: Elizabeth Cosulich (4)
Assists: Jane Pegg (25)
Player of the match: Ariel Smith
Kills: Kailee Stock (15)
Points: Kailee Stock (16.5), Shannon McRobert (14.5)
Blocks: Shannon McRobert (3)
Digs: Meagan Nederveen (22)
Service aces: Shannon McRobert (2)
Assists: Amanda Weldon (27)
Player of the match: Shannon McRobert
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: UBC 3, Queen’s 0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-16)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: McGill 3, Saint Mary’s 2 (26-24, 25-18, 20-25, 23-25, 15-13)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: Alberta 3, McMaster 1 (25-19, 25-15, 24-26, 25-18)
Saturday, March 3
13:00 Consolation #1: Trinity Western 3, Queen’s 0 (25-22, 25-13, 25-23)
15:00 Consolation #2: Saint Mary’s 3, McMaster 2 (24-26, 14-25, 25-9, 25-21, 15-7)
18:00 Semifinal #1: Montreal vs. UBC
20:00 Semifinal #2: McGill vs. Alberta
Sunday, March 4
11:00 5th place: Trinity Western vs. Saint Mary’s
13:00 Bronze medal
16:00 Championship final