CIS women's volleyball Saturday roundup: T-Birds threepeat as Canada West champs; Mustangs take OUA title
Photo credit UBC Athletics
|In a battle between the OUA East's top two teams,
the uOttawa Gee Gees defeated the York Lions 3-1 Saturday evening
to capture the bronze medal at the OUA women's volleyball Final
Four, hosted by the University of Guelph. This is the Gee-Gees'
fourth OUA Bronze medal in the history of their women's volleyball
"It was an exciting game, an emotional game," said Gee-Gees head coach Lionel Woods. "Of course it's nice for us to come out with a bronze with such a young team. Once that's all they could get, then that's all they focused on. I just couldn't be any happier, more proud of them. A great end to a special season."
Every set was extremely close between the OUA East's No. 1 Lions and No. 2 Gee-Gees, as both teams were determined not to return home empty handed. In the first set, the Gee-Gees had a slim 8-6 lead by the first technical time-out, but by the second technical time-out it would be the Lions who would have a two point advantage (16-14). Both teams continued to battle it out point for point, well past the 25 point mark, in their efforts to capture the first set; but it would be the Gee-Gees who would finally finish it off with a 30-28 win.
The Gee-Gees would then creep even closer to a bronze medal as they went on to take the second set, 25-23, for a 2-0 lead; however, the Lions would prevent the Gee-Gees from a quick sweep, coming back to win the third set 26-24.
Finally, in a tense and emotional fourth set, the Gee-Gees would continue to dominate on offence and battle hard to finish 25-21 and capture bronze. First-year twin sisters LS/M Myriam English and RS/M Kelsie English of Ottawa, Ont., were outstanding on offence for the Gee-Gees, finishing the day with 14 and 15 kills, respectively, as well as two service aces each. The Gee-Gees amassed a total of 65 kills in four sets to the Lions' 47. Myriam was named player of the game for uOttawa, while York's Sarah Sutton received the honour for her team.
In addition, fifth-year setter Tess Edwards, Kanata, Ont., put out an amazing performance to end her university career, finishing with 50 assists, 7 kills, 12 digs and one service ace.
With their 2010-11 season now at an end, the Gee-Gees certainly have a lot to be proud of looking back on the past year. With a young group, small in numbers, they worked extremely hard to develop into a mature team ready to compete at a high level and able to push through injuries and fatigue. And they certainly have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming years.
"They learned a ton of lessons this weekend," concluded Woods. "Tess isn't your ordinary player to replace, but for the most part the rest of the squad is certainly going to be a better team next year and we just have to plug in some youth to keep this going."
Source: Ottawa Sports Info
|Canada West bronze|
|VANCOUVER - The no. 5 Alberta Pandas battled back
from a shaky start in the Canada West bronze medal game to best the
no. 7 Manitoba Bisons 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-23, 25-22) at UBC's War
Memorial Gym for a place on the conference podium and a ticket to
next weekend's national championship at the University of Laval.
Alberta joins UBC and TWU, who will play for conference gold, as the three Canada West teams off to Quebec for nationals that run March 4-6.
"We had a lot of tension on the court in the first set. We were giving a really good team too many points with our mistakes. Once we eliminated some of that, we got into our flow of the game and things got better," said Alberta head coach Laurie Eisler.
Alyssa Jones led the Pandas with 10 kills, 16 set assists six block assists, and 10 digs. Jaki Ellis also put together an impressive stat line with eight kills, 24 set assists, four service aces, and 11 digs.
"Jaki's really emerged as one of our real key offensive players. She used to be that just as our setter and now she's doing it as an attacker. She brings a lot to the table and we're excited because I think she's only scratching the surface of what she can do."
In the fourth and deciding set, Alberta raced out to a 12-9 lead. The Bisons battled back and 3-0 run from Manitoba had them ahead 15-13 midway through the set. Running on Ellis' serve, Alberta forged back in front, taking a 17-15 lead. Manitoba clawed back with a 5-1 run to tie the game at 22 apiece but after a Bison service error, Jones iced the match with back-to-back service aces.
"We made them earn their points tonight. That meant having a little more patience offensively, just trying to keep balls alive that we could swing on. They have a massive block and you have to try and hit around that. We also put a lot of pressure on them with our serve game and started to get some points back," added Eisler.
It was an error filled first set as both squads worked out the nerves with their seasons on the line. The teams combined for 18 errors and only 22 kills but part of that result was due to their nine combined blocks. Manitoba raced out to an early 8-3 lead but Alberta slowly whittled away the advantage and back-to-back kills from Alyssa Jones and Caitlin Buckell made the score 18-16 for the Bisons. The Pandas got within two points three more times but couldn't make it any closer down the stretch.
After hitting - .022 in the first set, the Pandas woke up in the second with 12 kills and only three errors (.265). Their blocking was solid again, adding three to their total, and their scrappy defence held Manitoba to only .065 hitting. Early on Manitoba went up 9-5, however, the Pandas fought back eventually taking the lead with a 6-0 run that was capped off by a pair of Jones' kills and made it 17-13 in their favour. It was more of the same down the stretch, and Alberta evened the match with an 8-4 advantage to close the frame.
Both squads put together impressive offensive efforts in the third set, totaling 32 kills and hitting over .325. Krista Zubick had five kills to pace the Alberta offence in the frame. Manitoba led 8-6 at the first technical timeout but the Panadas made it 16-15 at the second break. The teams exchanged points down the stretch and with Alberta leading 23-21, Zubick tallied a kill off the block to put her squad to the hill. Manitoba saved a pair of set points before Zubick ended the frame with a kill off a Bison player.
Manitoba was paced by middle Tricia Mayba who tallied 12 kills, three solo blocks, and one block assist. Kate Wasyliw and Ashley Voth each finished with 10 kills apiece. Voth added seven block assists and Wasyliw 18 digs to lead their squad in those categories. The Bisons tallied 12 total blocks, including six in the fourth set, to 14 for Alberta.
Alberta also got key performances from Tiffany Proudfoot – nine kills, 15 digs, three block assists – with middles Caitlin Buckell and Jenice Warkentin accounting for 14 block assists and 11 kills.
Source: Alberta Sports Info
|GUELPH, Ont. - The Guelph Gryphon women's
volleyball team dropped a 3-1 final tonight to the Western Mustangs
in the OUA Championship final, played at the University of Guelph's
W.F. Mitchell Centre. Set scores were 18-25, 25-21, 25-18 and
The Gryphons finished the regular season as the OUA West Division leaders with a 16-3 record and earned the OUA silver medal to cap off a great season.
In the first set, Western came out strong and grabbed a quick 5-1 lead but the Gryphons maintained their composure to come back and tie it up 5-all. By the first technical timeout the Mustangs led 8-6. However Guelph improved both offensively and defensively going up 16-12 by the second technical timeout and took the set 25-18. Claire Sandor (Waterloo, Ont.) and first team OUA All-Star Kylen Van Osch (Exeter, Ont.) led the Gryphons with five and three kills respectively in the first set.
In a very evenly matched second set the Gryphons came out on top 8-6 by the first technical timeout. It was neck and neck all the way till the second technical timeout with the Mustangs up 17-16. Western setter Jenna Thompson (St. Mary's, Ont.) played outstanding tallying four kills in the set and scored the winning point dumping the ball into the Guelph side as Western won 25-21. Kelly Frittenberg (Caledon, Ont.) had three kills for Western. Guelph's Brooke Lloyd (Whitby, Ont.) led her team in scoring with six kills in this set.
The Mustangs took an early lead in the third, going up 8-7 by the first technical timeout. The two teams traded points and by the second technical timeout the Mustangs had a two-point lead 16-14. At this point, the Mustangs outscored Guelph 6-2 to move ahead and finished with the 25-18 victory. Frittenberg led the Mustangs in the third with four kills. Guelph suffered from a low hitting average in this set on nine kills for 32 attempts.
In what looked like to be a changing of the tide at the beginning of the fourth the Gryphons dominated the play and led for most of the set until the Mustangs tied up the game at 20-all. The Mustangs used outstanding serving and defence to secure the victory 25-21 and win the OUA Championship title.
The Gryphons were led by Kylen Van Osch with 13 points (11 kills, 1 ace, 1 block) and Brooke Lloyd with 13 points (12 kills, 2 blocks). Meanwhile the Mustangs were led by Sarah Johnston with a game-high 16 points (11 kills, 2 aces, 3 blocks) and Kelly Frittenberg with 15 points (10 kills, 3 aces, 2 blocks).
Players of the game were fifth year setter Jenna Thompson for the Mustangs and fifth year middle Kylen Van Osch for the Guelph Gryphons.
The Mikasa Tournament MVP award was given to Western's Jenna Thompson.
Source: Guelph Sports Info
|Canada West final|
|VANCOUVER - The UBC Thunderbirds couldn't have made
their third straight Canada West championship victory any more
dramatic if they tried, coming from behind 2-1 in the match and
overcoming large deficits in the fourth and fifth sets to down the
Trinity Western Spartans 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 18-25, 25-21, 17-15) on
Saturday at War Memorial Gym.
The T-Birds looked to be in trouble early in the fifth set, trailing 8-4 before Canada West MVP Shanice Marcelle led them on a 9-2 run with four kills. That gave UBC a short-lived lead, which was erased when Kara Jansen Van Doorn picked up her 16th kill of the match to level the score at 14. After the teams traded points to make it 15-15, Marcelle finished what she started with two straight aces to keep the Canada West title at UBC.
Although both teams had already qualified for nationals, UBC head coach Doug Reimer knew his team would need no help getting fired up to play the rival Spartans.
"Before the match you're thinking 'well, it's for seeding [at nationals], and in a way you're already there,' but you could see the emotion going on out there, and being able to push through like that is worth tons of hours of training," Reimer said.
While Marcelle was in charge of the fifth set, rookie Lisa Barclay deserves much of the credit for getting the T-Birds that far. In easily the biggest game of her young CIS career, Barclay was instrumental in helping UBC come from behind in the fourth set to force a fifth. She picked up eight of her 13 kills in the frame, and added two blocks.
"We have confidence in her obviously and I just thought we needed something a little different there," said Reimer. "She's obviously going to be an incredibly good player, and she came in in a pressure situation and really delivered."
After a strong showing in the first set, in which UBC posted a .324 team hitting percentage, the 'Birds fell into an uncharacteristic error-filled slump in the second and third sets. They were held below .100 hitting in both frames and totaled 21 errors during that stretch.
A big part of the turnaround was UBC's block coming on strong in the fourth to slow down the Spartans attack. Jen Hinze shouldered most of the load, picking up three block-assists and one key solo block late in the frame.
Kyla Richey finished with a game-high 19 kills. Marcelle had 12 kills, 22 digs and six aces.
Jansen Van Doorn led the way for Trinity Western with 16 kills. Nicole Bazin was a key part of their impressive blocking effort, picking up seven block assists on the Spartans' 11 team blocks.
The T-Birds now set their sights on the CIS tournament next weekend in Laval, where they will be looking for their fourth-straight national championship.
"A lot of these players have a taste of a national championship, and once you have a taste you want more. I think we built some confidence here tonight," said Reimer.
Trinity Western and conference bronze-medalists Alberta will also represent Canada West at the CIS tournament.
Source: UBC Sports Info