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Dalhousie beats Acadia in return to action

Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Norris
Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Norris

By Jack Longo

The Dalhousie Tigers women's volleyball team defeated the Acadia Axewomen at Dalplex on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers win moved them level on points with Acadia and into a tie for third place in the AUS women's volleyball standings.

Dalhousie controlled most of the first set, but Acadia battled hard to keep it close.

The Tigers strong play at the net was a theme throughout the opening frame. As a team, Dalhousie had three blocks and four block assists in the set, and the Tigers active hands on defence also forced the Axewomen into many attack errors.

Dalhousie built up an early 7-3 lead that forced Acadia to take a timeout. The Tigers only momentum continued after the timeout. Acadia fought to stay within touching distance but the home team held their opponent off until enough to lead to another Acadia timeout with the score 13-7 for Dalhousie.

After the second timeout, the Axewomen came out with a new intensity. Acadia won the first two points after the stoppage, including a very long rally that ended with a kill from Taylor Collombin (Victoria, BC).

The story of the first set was Dalhousie's strong play at the net earning points for themselves, and forcing their opponents into 12 attack errors. The Tiger's were led in scoring by Grace Calnan (Dartmouth, NS) and Ella Hornby (Calgary, AB) in the first set, both of whom had 2.5 points each.

The Tigers ultimately took the first set 25-16.

The second set began with Taylor Collombin hitting three kills to keep Acadia close early on. Overall, Acadia improved their attack in the second frame. While they couldn't fully find their rhythm in the first half of the set, the Axewomen's intensity was turned up a notch as the set wore on.

A big kill from Wesley-Ann Bailey (Ottawa, ON) forced Dalhousie to take its first timeout of the match with the score 14-10 for the Tigers. Coming out of the timeout, the Axewomen looked like a different team. A quick 5-1 run for Acadia, that included two aces from Eve Collombin (Victoria, BC), tied the score at 15-15 and led to another Tigers' timeout.

Even after the Tigers second timeout of the set, the Axewomen continued with their new-found intensity. Acadia took their first lead of the set when they went ahead 19-18 but it wasn't enough. The teams were tied at 21-21 before a kill from Sarah Dawe (Mount Pearl, NL) gave the Tigers the lead and they didn't look back from there.

The Tigers eventually won the second set 25-22.

The third set began with both teams trading points until a short run by Dalhousie gave the Tigers a 10-7 lead. The Axewomen would then win a few points themselves to even the score again at 10-10.

From there, Dalhousie took control of the final set. The Tigers built a lead as large as 10 and eventually won the third set 25-16 and the game 3-0.

With the victory, Dalhousie moved level on points with Acadia in the AUS women's volleyball standings. Acadia had won both previous matchups this season, but both teams now have 12 points and are in a tie for third place.

Dalhousie's Isabella Noble (Chester, NS) was named the Subway Player of the Game who had 22 assists, two block assists and one kill.

While Taylor Collombin had 15 kills to lead the way for the Axewomen.

Dalhousie's next game is on Wednesday when the Tigers host the Universisité de Moncton at Dalplex with a 7pm start.

The next test for Acadia comes tomorrow on the road at 2pm when they play the Saint Mary's Huskies.