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Ending the season with a roar

Women's Volleyball. Photo by Rob Grandy

Kirstie Shepherd, Lauren Smith and Courtney Giesbrecht all played their last regular season game as a Tiger Feb. 11, and they couldn’t have asked for a better way to end it.

Head coach Rick Scott made an emotional speech to Tigers and Capers fans after the home victory, introducing each player and giving a brief overview of their time as a Tiger.

“They have been a key and vital part of the growth and development of the Tigers program, to being a top team in the AUS and ranked nationally among the top 10,” Scott told the audience.

It was quite obvious the three ladies wanted to make their last home game a memorable one. They dominated the third place Capers, beating them in three straight sets and extending their winning streak to seven games.

Lauren Smith, who was named player of the game, said they didn’t go into this match with very many concerns.

“It didn’t really matter, we were still going to be in second,” Smith said. “It was kind of a pride thing because we lost to CBU in their home court so we wanted to beat them here.”

Dal displayed mental and physical toughness in the third set. After being down by five at the technical timeout, they came back to win the set by six through well-placed spikes and big blocks at the net.

The final game scores were 25 – 17, 25 – 11 and 25 – 19.

Now that the regular season is complete, the Tigers’ main focus is the playoffs. They clinched a first-round bye and now will only have to win two games this weekend to win it all. Smith thinks it’s within their reach.

“We’re stronger than we’ve ever been before,” she said. “We’re playing really consistent, tough volleyball.”

There’s no doubt that Dal is playing some of their best volleyball in a number of years. Their last three victories have been won in straight sets and they have not dropped a set since they faced the first place Huskies Jan. 29.

“I think it’s always good to be playing well when you go into the playoffs,” Scott said. “We’re not really concerned about the winning streak; we just want to keep playing well and have a positive frame of mind.”

Scott thinks it’s very likely the Tigers can win their first championship in seven years.

“We believe we can win it all, but we also know it’s going to be very difficult,” Scott said. “There are a lot of good teams in our conference but we know if we play well we can beat anyone.”

The Tigers hope to bring an AUS banner to the school by weekend’s end. They play in the semifinals Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. and if they win that they will fight for the league crown Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. All games can be watched online at ssncanada.ca.

For  full recap of Dal’s volleyball victory, click here.

Graeme Benjamin
Graeme Benjamin
Graeme is the Gazette's Sports Editor. He was the Assistant Sports Editor for Volume 145.
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