BRONZE MEDAL: Martlets shock RSEQ rivals, claim bronze
Courtesy of McMaster University sports information
HAMILTON, Ont. (CIS) – The fifth-seeded McGill Martlets claimed the first national medal in team history thanks to a shocking 25-22, 13-25, 25-23, 25-15 win over RSEQ rival Montreal in the third-place match of the CIS women’s volleyball championship at McMaster University’s Burridge Gymnasium, Sunday afternoon.
The surprising victory put an exclamation point on an improbable playoff run for McGill.
Following a sub-par 5-10 regular season, the Martlets booked their ticket to the national tournament by upsetting 2011 CIS silver medallist Laval in the Quebec semifinals. After being swept by Montreal in the best-of-three conference final, McGill downed No. 4 Saint Mary’s in five sets in their CIS championship opener on Friday to advance to the Final Four, where they lost 3-0 to top-seeded Alberta.
In their only previous CIS championship appearance, in 1997, the Martlets had placed sixth with a 1-2 mark.
For its part, No. 3 Montreal had started the tournament with an impressive 3-1 win over Trinity Western on Friday before dropping a four-set decision to defending national champion UBC in Saturday’s semis. The Carabins had dominated McGill 3-1 and 3-0 in the RSEQ championship series.
"We knew coming here we could play this level of competition because we play this level every weekend," said McGill head coach Rachèle Béliveau. "We were focused on what we had to do and we completed one of our goals. I'm happy that we finished with a good ending, and I'm happy to beat Montreal. The last win is the one that counts the most so I'm very happy."
McGill's Geneviève Plante of Montreal scored a game-high 11 kills and right-side Marie Lapointe of St.-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., added 10 more for the Martlets. Marcela Mansure of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil recorded a game-high 35 assists in the match and was elated with her team's result.
"We worked so hard during the entire season and we fought a lot to get here," said Mansure. "The good thing about being the underdogs is that we didn't have the pressure. It was really hard to get here and we knew about our potential and know how it feels to play as a team. If everyone else thinks they are going to win and we can't win, but we believed in ourselves and it paid off."
For the Carabins, their fourth-place finish is a step-up from last year's fifth place.
“They came up short in this game because they fought for the gold medal in the previous two games and they lacked energy in this one,” said head coach Olivier Trudel.
Carabin Marie-Sophie Nadeau was once again the top hitter with 10 kills and Pamela Drapeau was named Montreal's Player of the Game for his 14 points on 9 kills and five blocks.
The first set saw the No. 3 Carabins lead throughout. It would take until the 18th point for McGill to tie it up and from there it would be a see-saw battle between both RSEQ representatives. With the Martlets going ahead, Montreal was forced to use both timeouts, but it wouldn't help as McGill solidified the first set win at 25-22.
In the second, the Carabins redeemed themselves, taking it to the Martlets on offence. Near the end of the set, McGill would have problems with serve receive and Montreal would take advantage, making the game even at 1-1 with a second set score of 25-13.
With Montreal up by five points at 15-10, it looked like the Carabins were going to head into the fourth with the advantage, but that wasn't the case as McGill put up a fight, crawling back from the deficit to tie the score up at 23. Montreal would be unable to stop McGill's run and they would score the final two points of the set to go ahead 2-1 in the match.
In the fifth, the Martlets lead the whole way through, coming up big at the end of the set, pushing the point spread to ten points by the end of the match. McGill went on to win their first-ever CIS bronze medal with the best finish in program history.
Kills: Geneviève Plante (11), Marie Lapointe (10)
Points: Marie Lapointe (11.5), Geneviève Plante (11)
Blocks: Jacquline Ng (2)
Digs: Daphnée-Maude André-Morin (16), Marcela Mansure (15)
Service aces: Jacqueline Ng (2)
Assists: Marcela Mansure (35)
Player of the match: Marcela Mansure
Kills: Marie-Sophie Nadeau (10), Paméla Drapeau (9)
Points: Paméla Drapeau (14)
Blocks: Paméla Drapeau (5)
Digs: Emmanuelle Marin (13), Paméla Drapeau (12)
Service aces: Sophie Bergeron-Leblanc (4)
Assists: Maude Ménard-Ouellette (30)
Player of the match: Pamela Drapeau
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: McGill 3, Montreal 1 (25-22, 13-25, 25-23, 25-15)
16:00 Championship final: UBC vs. Alberta