The Dalhousie Tigers women’s volleyball capped off a historic season with a fifth-place finish last weekend at the national championships at Ryerson University in Toronto. Led by Head Coach Rick Scott, the USports Women’s volleyball coach of the year, fourth year outside hitter Anna-Dunn Suen–who was named AUS Championship MVP for the third straight year, and fifth year libero (defensive specialist) and Second Team All Canadian Marisa Mota, the women bounced back after losing their first game at nationals to go undefeated the rest of the way. The team finished with a 23-2 record overall on the season, including playoffs, regional and national championships.
When asked about the season, Head Coach Rick Scott explains “it was an historic season. At nationals, it was the first time in 33 years than an AUS (women’s volleyball) team had won two games there in 33 years. In 1984, Dal women won silver, and no women had won two games in our conference since then. To finish fifth, it’s the second highest finish in 33 years. Top five is very impressive, and in the last three years we have been fourth, fifth and sixth, we are so close to breaking through.”
In addition to the team’s success at nationals, they broke records regionally as well, winning a fifth consecutive AUS championship, the first time a feat of that magnitude has been accomplished in 47 years.
“I’m just very proud of this group of athletes” Scott continues. “We have three fifth years that are graduating, Marisa Mota who is one of the top 14 players in the country. I would be remiss if I didn’t say what great leadership she (and fellow fifth year players Abby Czenze and Amy Appleby) provided and great play on the court. They have won a championship every year they’ve played, so that’s very special.”
Dunn-Suen credits Scott for creating the positive environment that led to the record breaking season the Tigers had. “I think our team has done a very good job of getting involved in the community. I know as a player growing up playing for the Tigers volleyball club, I always looked up to Dal players.”
The women’s volleyball team continues to provide leadership in the community, in hopes of finding future Tigers superstars. Getting young girls to pursue their dreams is the ultimate achievement of any female athlete, and the Dalhousie Tigers women’s volleyball team have been at the forefront of the women in sport movement. This, along with the team’s winning record over the past five seasons has boosted the team’s reputation as well as the university’s reputation as one of the top choices for Canadian university athletics in the country.
The more success the team has on the court, and the more the community involvement the team does, the more that female volleyball players will choose to come to Dalhousie. After all, a successful university program is what coaches and players alike strive for. The continued improvement of the Dalhousie Tigers women’s volleyball team over the course of the Scott’s nine-year tenure shows that more and more young players are already recognizing the team as a something special that they want to be a part of.