The men’s v-ball Tigers fell 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-23) to the UNB Varsity Reds in the first match of the AUS championships at the Dalplex on Friday, Feb. 19. The loss puts the Tigers up against a wall, as they will need to win the next two matches in the best of three series to claim the title.
The Tigers honoured their graduating players with a ceremony before the game. Fifth-years Jonathan MacDonald, Justin Lynch and Connor Maessen as well as fourth-year Logan Baillie were all presented with gifts for their commitment to the Tigers program.
The first set was a tightly contested affair in front of a capacity crowd at the Dalplex. The teams were trading points throughout the set and were tied at 19-19 before the Varsity Reds closed it out 25-21.
The Tigers struggled to find their rhythm in the second set and trailed from the opening point. The Varsity Reds showed no mercy winning the set 25-25 on their way to grabbing a commanding two sets to none lead.
The third set saw a refocused Tigers squad early on as the stormed out of the gate to take a 12-5 lead. They led 16-11 at the technical timeout and seemed to be on their way to winning the set. The Varsity Reds had other plans and were a reinvigorated group coming out of the timeout, as they fought back to take the set 25-23.
Kristen O’Brian led the Tigers attack with 13K and was named their player of the game. Matthew Donovan added 10K, and MacDonald had 33A.
Elvind Anderson was named player of the game for the Varsity Reds.
The two teams will be back on the court in Fredericton on Saturday, Feb.27 and if the Tigers are able to win will be back at the Dalplex on Friday, Mar. 4 in a winner take-all match.