Dalhousie’s women’s volleyball team stunned first-place Saint Mary’s Jan. 29 at The Tower, needing four sets to hand the Huskies their first defeat of the season.
The Tigers lost the first set 25 – 14, but quickly improved their play in the next three to win the match with 25 – 9, 25 – 20 and 25 – 22 scorelines.
Raessa Lalani led the Tigers with 13 kills and eight digs. Maggie Li and Louise Facca were offensive powerhouses themselves with 11 and ten kills, respectively. Li boasted a .562 hitting percentage through the four sets.
Hilary Sears and Facca played really strong defensively for the Tigers, each providing eight digs on the day. Sears added 42 assists, setting up Facca, Lalani and Li all afternoon.
Huskies’ Ariel Smith and Kerri Smit were strong in the loss, leading their team with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Between the two of them, they also provided 17 digs.
The CIS No. 10 ranked Tigers have now extended their winning streak to four games, inching within two points of Saint Mary’s, the country’s second best team, at the top of the table with three games remaining. The Huskies, however, have a game in hand.
Tigers brush aside Axewomen
Before Dal stole two points at The Tower, the Tigers warmed up by overpowering the Acadia Axewomen Jan. 25, coming away with a well-deserved straight set victory at the Dalplex.
Last time out against the Axewomen, the Tigers fell in a surprising straight set loss. Looking to even the season series and grab a stranglehold on second place in the AUS standings, the Tigers knew they could not afford a loss in this one.
Head coach Rick Scott should be pleased as his Tigers never looked out of place. From the first serve on, you could sense the edge in Dal’s step over their opposition as the girls in black and gold went on to win 25 – 18, 25 – 20 and 25 – 15.
Strong offence and numerous Acadia errors during the three sets particularly wiped away some of Dal’s sloppy defending in the second set.
Outside hitter Louise Facca and middle Maggie Li led Dal throughout, providing some strong attacking prowess with a combined 21 kills.
Li claimed player of the game honours after leading the team with 11 kills on the night. She looked particularly scary in the third set when she slammed the ball down at centre court. As the game’s MC, Adam Hotchkiss rightfully pointed out, “Stomp, tromp, kaboom! That was Earth-shaking, maybe even jaw-dropping.”
Lauren Smith (15 digs) and Hilary Sears (33 assists) also helped lead the Tigers to their tenth victory of the season.
The Acadia Axewomen played a game riddled with mistakes due to a number of missed serves and a lot of collisions in the back line. The girls in red were led by Meg Rector with six kills and Lauren Cartier’s 21 assists.
The Axewomen did not manage a multi-point lead throughout the three sets, and have some improving to do if they hope to hold onto the last playoff position against a challenging Moncton.