CIS women's volleyball Sunday roundup: Queen's takes home OUA banner
TORONTO - The Varsity Blues wrapped up their 2011-12 season winning the bronze medal with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-10, 25-19) victory over the RMC Paladins on Day 2 of the OUA women’s volleyball Final Four in Ottawa.
Ottawa native Charlotte Sider led the Blues for the second consecutive day with nine kills, four digs and three serving aces.
Rebecca Crosier, Denise Wooding and Shannon Rossall added seven kills each, while Katrina Rossall notched a team-high 12 digs in the win. Shannon Rossall was named the Blues player of the match.
Tied 7-7 in the first set, Toronto went on a 5-0 run to take a commanding lead. The Paladins kept pace and narrowed the gap but U of T took it 25-22.
The second set started in a 5-4 favour of the Blues. Toronto then stepped it up a notch with a 13-2 streak and went onto win 25-10.
The Paladins got out to a 4-0 lead in the third and built a 14-8 advantage. The Blues rallied with seven consecutive points to take a 15-14 lead. Toronto ended the game with an 8-1 run to take the third set 25-19.
Melissa McCoy led the Paladins with 10 kills and Chelsey Chang added a game-high 13 digs in the loss.
Source: Toronto Sports Info
OTTAWA - The Queen’s Gaels captured their first ever OUA women’s volleyball championship banner in a dramatic four set showdown with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees in front of a crowd of over 400 enthusiastic supporters on Sunday afternoon.
After the first three sets were won alternately by Queen’s, Ottawa, and Queen’s, Ottawa held a 16-13 lead at the technical timeout in the fourth set. Queen’s immediately fought back to take a 17-16 lead with Becky Billings providing the serving. A kill by Laura Carmanico stopped the bleeding, but tournament MVP Natalie Gray came right back with a kill off the Ottawa block.
Carmanico again responded for the garnet and grey, attacking from the backcourt and catching Queen’s off-balance. Natalie Gray stepped up again and completed two consecutive points to take a 22-18 lead. Player of the Match Kelsey Bishop had a dagger of a kill for the 24th point, before Gray again used the Gee-Gee blockers to score, this time for the gold medal winning point.
“It was a fantastic tournament, a fantastic win,” said Gaels coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane, clutching the championship trophy. “We started the season with the idea that we were just going to play the best volleyball we could play match after match and we found a way to do that so when we got to the final we could play the best match of the year. I’m very excited to take our team to McMaster.”
“They were just outstanding,” stated Gee-Gees coach Lionel Woods, praising the effort of the Gaels. “Even when they did make a mistake, they didn’t make two. I thought our kids threw it right back as much as they could and we played our best in set two. But they played their best in the other three sets and the right team is going to McMaster next weekend.”
Queen’s won the opening set, which opened with the nerves evident for both sides as each team had serves float long during the first rotation. A combo block by Ottawa’s English twins tied up the set at 15-15, but Queen’s was able to stabilize their serving faster than the Gee-Gees, taking advantage of Ottawa’s uncharacteristic continued errors and landing two aces of their own to take a 25-19 first set victory.
Ottawa won the second set thanks to a varied attack and more consistent serving. A beautiful backset by Christina Grail set up Laura Camanico for a huge kill right before the 16 point timeout, as this time the Gee-Gees held the 16-15 lead. Grail then dove backwards to dig up her own partial block and Myriam English buried her attack to give the Gees a two point lead. A perfectly executed line kill by Karina Krueger Schwanke boosted the Gees to a 21-18 lead and Schwanke then combined with Kathryn Weihrer to reject the Gaels’ next attack. Katie Haggarty of Queen’s had block at 21-23, but Kelsie English put away a quick attack to capture the second set for the Gee-Gees.
Ottawa opened the third set with a big attack by Schwanke which was dug up perfectly by the Gaels’ libero Shannon Walsh, giving OUA Award of Merit winner Natalie Gray the chance to score the first point. Queen’s opened up an 8-4 lead, forcing Ottawa to call a time out. A stuff block by Anna Pedjase continued the Queen’s run, carrying them to a 10-4 advantage and the eventual set victory at 25-18, the largest victory of the afternoon.
Lionel Woods summed up the weekend tournament by saying, “I think that was the best OUA match of the year. It was a battle, it was exciting, it was fast; heavy hitting, hard digging – what a great way to end it.”
For the Gee-Gees, their silver medal finish is a step up from last year’s bronze. Laura Carmanico was named the Ottawa player of the match: she scored a team leading 12 kills and also had 7 digs.