By: Jack Longo
The Dalhousie Tigers Women's Volleyball team defeated the Memorial Sea-Hawks at Dalplex on Thursday night. The Tigers' win took them into the semi-finals of the AUS Women's Volleyball playoffs.
The Tigers and Sea-Hawks played their last three regular season games against each other just last week so were well-versed in what to expect from their opponent on Thursday. Dalhousie claimed victory in all three regular season games but were still in for a test in this quarter-final matchup. The third-seeded Tigers and sixth-seeded Sea-Hawks played a hard-fought game, with the victorious Tigers going on to play the Acadia Axe-women in the semi-finals.
The playoff tone was set early on Thursday night as Dalplex was full of energy right from the start.
Both teams were scrambling on defense to start the match with errors going hand-in-hand with strong attacking play from both teams.
After trading points to start the game, Dalhousie started to ramp up the pressure. The Tigers scored four straight points to force a Memorial timeout with the score 9-5 for Dalhousie. The Tigers kept rolling after the timeout however as Julie Moore (Halifax, NS) hit two straight kills after the timeout to assert her dominance in the first set.
Memorial kept fighting through every point in the first set but their attack errors ultimately let them down. The Sea-Hawks hit six attack errors to only seven kills in the first set. Lydia Grawer (St. Louis, Missouri) hit four kills of her own to lead Memorial in the first set.
Even with the Sea-Hawks making things difficult for Dalhousie, the Tigers maintained their advantage as the opening set came to a close and eventually won the first set 25-16.
The second set began much like the first set finished. Dalhousie gained a small advantage and kept Memorial at arm's length. Unfortunately for the Sea-Hawks the attack errors still weren't under control and allowed the Tigers to build a quick 10-3 advantage.
From there, the roar from the Tigers only got louder as Dalhousie built a lead as large as 10 points. However, the visitors wouldn't go down without a fight. Some strong defensive play from the whole Sea-Hawks squad was the highlight of the set for the away team.
Ultimately, the early lead Dalhousie built was enough to carry them through the set; the Tigers claimed the second set 25-8. The Tigers' strong play in the second set was highlighted by Sarah Dawe (Mount Pearl, NL) who had three kills in the set.
The third set proved to be the most tightly-contested set of the three. The score was tied up until 11-11 with Sarah Trowbridge (Sunnyside, NL) and Ella Hornby (Calgary, AB) both hitting multiple kills each up to that point.
However, the momentum Dalhousie had built up over the first two sets was too much for Memorial to come back from. Although the Sea-Hawks fought hard and made Dalhousie earn every point in the third set, it ultimately proved to be the final set as the Tigers won 25-22 and moved on to the semi-finals with a 3-0 victory in the game.
Dalhousie's Julie Moore and Memorial's Lydia Grawer were named the Subway Players of the Game.
Grawer had seven kills to lead the way for the Memorial while Moore had 11 kills for Dalhousie.
Post-match, Dalhousie's graduating athletes Sarah Dawe, Julie Moore, Abby Jenkins (Hamilton, ON) and Victoria Turcot (Halifax, NS) were honoured for their achievements with the Tigers.
The Tigers next game comes against Acadia in the AUS Women's volleyball semifinal on Saturday at 7pm.
This match was the final game of the season for the Memorial Sea-Hawks.