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Tigers comeback to defeat Huskies in five set thriller

Photo by Nick Pearce
Photo by Nick Pearce

Recap by Allan April / SMU Huskies Athletics

The Dalhousie Tigers women's volleyball team improved to 2-1 on the season with a come-from-behind five set victory (24-26, 19-25, 25-11, 25-23, 15-11) over the Saint Mary's Huskies on Saturday night at the Homburg Centre in Halifax.

The first set was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team opening up more than a four point lead all set. The Tigers took a late lead, 24-23, but a kill by Megan Bruhm (Hubley, NS) followed by a block by Bruhm and Paige Deering (Calgary, AB) gave the Huskies a 25-24 advantage, before Olivia Bell (Lahave, NS) finished off the set with a powerful kill to give the Huskies a 26-24 first set win.

The Huskies momentum continued into the second set as they quickly opened up a 10-2 lead thanks to some great service by first year setter Taylor Lougheed (Calgary, AB), who led all players with five service aces on the night. But the nine-time defending champion Tigers roared back, going on an 8-1 run to cut the Huskies lead to 11-10. The Huskies found some more breathing room on the score board with Bruhm and Madeline Watson (Brampton, ON) going on successful service runs, before Bell finished off the set with an ace of her own, giving the Huskies a 25-19 second set win.

The Tigers looked motivated to begin the third set, and led from start to finish, opening up a 7-0 lead, which led to a 25-11 set win. Outside hitter Lucy Glen-Carter (Toronto, ON) was dominant in the third set with six kills and two blocks.

The fourth set saw a return to form for the Huskies, but the Tigers were up to the challenge. Saint Mary's led 21-19 late, but Glen-Carter continued her dominant play with four kills down the stretch to secure a 25-23 set win and force a decisive fifth set.

In the fifth set, the two rival squads again traded blows, with the Huskies taking an early 4-2 lead before Glen-Carter went on a seven-point service streak. A service ace by Charlotte Arsenault (Ottawa, ON) pushed the Tigers lead to 13-8, and Annik Bolden's (Fredericton, NB) serve won it 15-11, giving the Tigers the come-from-behind win.

Tigers setter Brett Boldon (Fredericton, NB) was named Subway Player of the Game with a match high 44 assists to go along with two kills, four service aces, nine digs and four blocks. Glen-Carter led all players with 26 kills and 27.5 points, while libero Alessandro Nadalini (Bedford, NS) led the match with 25 digs.

For the Huskies, the All-Star outside hitter duo of Olivia Bell (Lahave, NS) and Megan Bruhm (Hubley, NS) continued their dominant play as Bell recorded 16 kills, eight digs, two assists and one service ace, while Bruhm added 13 kills, 18 digs, two service aces, two assists and a block. Setter Taylor Lougheed (Calgary, AB) continued her strong play with 30 assists and a match high five service aces.

The Tigers win improved their record to 2-1 on the campaign. They'll be back in action next week, as they host the Memorial Sea-Hawks for a three-game series, Friday-Sunday at the Dalplex.

The Huskies loss dropped their record to 2-1 on the season. They'll be on the road next weekend, heading to Fredericton, N.B. to take on the UNB REDS in a pair of games on Fri, Nov. 11 and Sat, Nov. 12.