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Tigers take game 1 of AUS championship final 3-0

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In game 1 of the AUS women's volleyball championship final, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the Saint Mary's Huskies at the Dalplex. In a hard-fought battle, the Tigers were able to come away with the 3-0 victory to take the first game of the series.

The service game of Sarah Dawe (Mount Pearl, NL) and the Tigers gave the Huskies trouble early, picking up a pair of kills and a pair of aces in the opening plays of the match.

The Huskies were winning the battles on the rallies, however, with extended plays leading to soft tip-plays at the net to keep themselves tight as the teams traded points through to the technical timeout with the Tigers leading 16-15.

Coming out of the break, the Tigers hitters turned it on, with Courtney Baker (Bridgewater, NS) finding three different hitters for kills in consecutive plays to take a commanding lead in the set.

The Huskies picked up a big block from Bethany Smith (Moncton, NB) trying to keep her team in it, but after a great dig from Catherine Callaghan (Halifax, NS), Sarah Dawe was able to send home the final kill of the set to give the Tigers the 25-18 win.

Once again the Tigers serving was the story to start the set, as Baker dropped in four aces in a row to give the Tigers a big lead out of the gate. That led to a quick first half of the set with the Tigers holding a 16-7 lead at the technical break.

That strong play continued out of the timeout, with Victoria Turcot (Halifax, NS) and Victoria Haworth (Waverly, NS) both picking up kills to continue the Tigers run and give them a 21-9 lead.

Again, the Huskies were able to come up with a few points at the end of the set, but a final tip kill from Julie Moore (Halifax, NS) gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead on a 25-12 win in the second set.

After getting behind in the opening points, the Huskies put together a fantastic run, led by the serving of Olivia Bell (La Have, NS) and a few hard swings from Anna Watt (Calgary, AB) to give the Huskies their first lead of the match at 9-8.

Both sides were having trouble with service reception in the third set, and with Kennedy Wright (Vernon, BC) picking up back to back aces, the Huskies were able to hold the advantage at 16-14 into the technical timeout.

The intensity in the building picked up in the back half of the set, with Jaime Rourke (Mission, BC) and Julie Moore trading kills.

With another pair of kills from Moore, the Tigers took a big lead in the final points, and on a big block from Grace Calnan (Dartmouth, NS), the Tigers were able to secure the 25-21 win in the third set, and a 3-0 straight-set victory.

Anna Watt led the Huskies attack with 8 kills. Julie Moore finished with a game-high 10 kills, while Victoria Haworth was named the Player of the Game with 8 kills on a fantastic 0.500 hitting percentage.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow at 7:00 at the Dalplex for game 2.