CONSOLATION FINAL: Spartans down AUS champs to finish fifth
Courtesy of McMaster University sports information
HAMILTON, Ont. (CIS) – The sixth-seeded Trinity Western Spartans secured a fifth-place finish for the third time in five years at the CIS women’s volleyball championship thanks to a 25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20 win over the No. 4 Saint Mary’s Huskies in Sunday morning’s consolation final, at McMaster University Burridge Gymnasium.
A year ago, the Spartans had recorded the best result in program history at the national tournament, winning a bronze medal. They were coming into this weekend’s tourney as Canada West bronze medallists.
Despite the loss, the sixth-place finish for the AUS champion Huskies is the best in team history. It is also the best result at the CIS championship by a team from the Atlantic conference since Moncton placed sixth in 2002.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game both physically and mentally. Physically the girls were beat up and mentally it was tough," said Saint Mary’s head coach Darren Russell. “I thought the girls had a lot of fight in them and we just missed our execution at certain times. Having said that I'm more than happy how we did all weekend. I'm just so proud of the girls and how they played on this level.”
The player of the game for the Spartans was Alicia Perrin of Creston, B.C. with a game-high 16 kills and a total of eight blocks. Amy Leschied of East Selkirk, Man., and Kelci French of Okotoks, Alta., both added 11 kills for Trinity Western. Setter Chelsea Hudson of Winnipeg ended her five-year career with the Spartans with 37 assists, two aces and nine digs.
"It's a good to end winning and leave your career and team on a good note," said Hudson. "We wanted to come out and show our stuff. Finishing fifth wasn't our goal coming into it, but as they say 'where the chips or cards fall' and we had to play on the consolation side and do the best from there."
Once again, first-team all-Canadian Kerri Smit of Shubenacide, N.S. led the Huskies with 14 kills, 14 digs and two blocks. Libero Anastasia Callaghan of Truro, N.S. had a game-high 19 digs and setter Jane Pegg of Weyburn, Sask. recorded 37 assists.
With neither team earning a lead of over three points, the first set saw both teams battle it out. Post technical timeout, the Spartans would take a three-point lead at 19-16, but the Huskies would find a way to tie it back up at 20. Trinity Western would edge out Saint Mary's in the first with a score of 25-22.
The second set would see a number of lead changes. Saint Mary's would take charge throughout the majority of the first half of the set, going on a 4-0 run at 11-7, forcing Trinity Western to call their first timeout. It would be at the technical timeout that the Spartans would take the lead away from the Huskies at 16-15, and would maintain it until the AUS champions tied it up at 23. From there, Saint Mary's would earn the final two points of the set to even up the match at 1-1.
Once again, both teams would fight for 5th place with each squad taking leads throughout the set. It would be Trinity Western heading into the technical timeout up 16-13, and they would build their lead up to six at 23-17 before closing out the third 25-21. Trinity Western's Perrin would be leading all hitters through three sets with 14 kills.
Saint Mary's would take a lead early on in the fourth set, but would soon be stopped on offence by the Spartans' block at the net. Halting the Huskies offence, Trinity Western was able to overcome the Saint Mary's, taking the lead at 16-15 and running with it to end the game 25-20.
Kills: Alicia Perrin (16)
Points: Alicia Perrin (25)
Blocks: Alicia Perrin (8)
Digs: Jodi Neufeld (16)
Service aces: Chelsea Hudson (2)
Assists: Chelsea Hudson (37)
Player of the match: Alicia Perrin
Kills: Kerri Smit (14)
Points: Kerri Smit (16)
Blocks: Ariel Smith (2)
Digs: Anastasia Callaghan (19)
Service aces: Jane Pegg (2), Ariel Smith (2), Tessa Felix (2)
Assists: Jane Pegg (37)
Player of the match: Tessa Felix
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: UBC 3, Montreal 1 (25-15, 20-25, 25-19, 25-22)
20:00 Semifinal #2: Alberta 3, McGill 0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-23)
Sunday, March 4
11:00 5th place: Trinity Western 3, Saint Mary’s 1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-21, 25-20)
13:00 Bronze medal: Montreal vs. McGill
16:00 Championship final: UBC vs. Alberta