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Tigers win 8th consecutive AUS Championship

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In Game 2 of the AUS women's volleyball championship, the Tigers looked to claim the banner, while the Huskies were trying to force a winner-take-all Game 3. In a straight-set victory, the Tigers were able to claim their 8th consecutive AUS title.

The Tigers took advantage of some early errors from the Huskies to get out to a three-point lead early, and with hard swings from Julie Moore (Halifax, NS), the Tigers were able to hold that advantage as they neared the technical timeout.

The Huskies found their groove just before the break, however, with Bethany Smith (Moncton, NB) hammering home consecutive kills to bring her team right back in it. In the race to 16, the Tigers held the advantage by just 1.

Finding their presence at the net out of the timeout, the Tigers took a commanding lead in the set with Moore picking up a pair of blocks, with Courtney Baker (Bridgewater, NS) assisting on the second.

With Victoria Haworth (Waverly, NS) dropping in back to back aces, and a final tip kill from Baker, the Tigers took the first set at 25-17.

This time it was the Huskies who were able to take advantage of errors from their opponent, combined with a pair of kills from Anna Watt (Calgary, AB), the Huskies took their largest lead of the match at 9-6.

With an ace from Baker and a big swing from first-year Grace Calnan (Dartmouth, NS) the Tigers fought their way back to take over the lead as they reached the technical break at 16-14.

Once again the Tigers were a huge blocking presence in the back half of the set, with Haworth and Victoria Turcot (Halifax, NS) collecting four blocks between them after the timeout to take a commanding lead. With a final swing from Julie Moore, the Tigers took a 25-21 win in the second set to lead 2-0.

The Tigers hitters were struggling to find the floor to start the third set, with the Huskies jumping out 8-1 on 5 errors from the Tigers, forcing coach Rick Scott to use both his timeouts early.

With two big blocks from Megan Bruhm (Hubley, NS) and Olivia Bell (La Have, NS), the Huskies took a big 13-4 lead, but the Tigers fought their way back before the timeout. On a run of 8-straight points with great serving from Grace Calnan, the Tigers came all the way back to take a 16-15 lead at the technical break.

Victoria Haworth took over in the back half of the set. With two crafty tip plays for kills, she hammered home another swing to give the Tigers a 22-16 lead while looking to close it out.

The Huskies put together a great run from Jamie Rourke (Mission, BC) and Bruhm to keep their team in it, but it was Julie Moore who was able to hammer home the final kill to lead her team to the 25-21 win in the set and the AUS Championship title.

Megan Bruhm was named the player of the game for the Huskies, finishing with 7 kills and 2 blocks. For the Tigers, Julie Moore led her team with 11 kills, while Catherine Callaghan (Halifax, NS) was named the Player of the Game for the Tigers with 17 digs in an outstanding defensive performance.

Courtney Baker was named the Subway AUS WOmen's Volleyball Championship MVP.

With the win, the Tigers claim their 8th consecutive title and head to the U SPORTS Championship in Calgary beginning March 11th.