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Tigers clinch first with 3-1 win over Huskies

Tigers clinch first with 3-1 win over Huskies

Recap by Allan April / Saint Mary's Huskies Athletics

HALIFAX, NS- The U SPORTS #8 ranked Saint Mary's Huskies had their nine-game winning streak snapped, as the Dalhousie Tigers won a four set thriller (19-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-21) at the Homburg Centre on Saturday night.

Before the game, the Huskies honoured graduating senior Olivia Bell (Lahave, NS) prior to what could be her final regular season home game for the Huskies.

The Tigers took the first three points in the first set, but Bell and the Huskies battled back, with a Bell kill putting the home team in front 7-6. It was a back-and-forth first set, with eight ties, but a service ace from Bell put the Huskies up 22-19.

That seemed to motivate the Huskies as they scored the next three points, including another ace from Bell, and a big block from Madison Hann (Conquerall Mills, NS) to give them a 25-19 first set win.

The second set saw the Huskies get out to an early 3-1 lead off a kill from Emilia Mikanovich (Minsk, Belarus) but the Tigers came roaring back with a tremendous 14-point run powered by the service of setter Brett Boldon (Fredericton, NB), who recorded three aces over the scoring streak.

Saint Mary's was able to cut the lead to 19-11, but Tigers all-star outside hitter Lucy Glen-Carter (Toronto, ON) was able to finish off the Huskies with her fifth kill of the set to give the Tigers a 25-13 second set victory, and tie the match at 1-1.

The first set saw both teams starting strong, with the Sea-Hawks claiming the first point with a kill by Nella Woelfel (St. John's NL). The Sea-Hawks would capitalize on attack errors made by the Huskies and a kill by Lydia Grawer (St. Louis, MO), propelling them forward. The Huskies, however, after a long rally that saw Emilia Mikanovich (Minsk, Belarus) hammer home a point, saw the Huskies gain momentum, pulling ahead to a 10-7 lead.

The Tigers momentum continued into the third set, as they opened up a quick 7-2 lead, thanks in part to the service of Grace Calnan (Dartmouth, NS).

The Huskies were able to cut into the Tigers lead with four straight points off the service of Alena Piatukhova (Minsk, Belarus) to bring the score to 17-15.

But the Tigers were able to close out the set with some great service from setter Anika Gaile Almero (Brampton, ON) and a kill by Talia Vydykhan (Hammonds Plains, NS) secured the 25-18 third set win.

Saint Mary's looked to respond in the fourth set, with several kills from Megan Bruhm powering them to an early 7-5 lead, but the Tigers countered with some excellent play from middles Calnan and Ella Hornby (Calgary, AB), and opened up a 19-14 lead.

With their backs against the wall, the Huskies won six of the next eight points to cut the lead to 21-20. But Glen-Carter put the Tigers on her back, recording the final three kills to win the set 25-21.

Lucy Glen-Carter was named Subway Player of the Game with a game-high 22 points and 18 kills, along with nine digs, two solo blocks, two service aces and two assists. Tigers middle Paris Stewart (Halifax, NS) chipped in 11.5 points on seven kills, three service aces and 1.5 blocks, while setter Brett Boldon had a game high 32 assists along with five digs, two service aces, two kills and two blocks.

The Huskies were led by Olivia Bell with 16 points, 13 kills, three service aces, three digs and two assists. Emilia Mikanovich chipped in a game-high 10 digs, along with nine kills, one service ace, and one assist, and setter Taylor Lougheed (Calgary, AB) posted 24 assists and five digs.

The Tigers fourth straight win brought their record to a league-best 17-3 heading into playoffs, where they'll face the #4 seed UNB REDS (8-11) in the semifinal, schedule TBD.

The Huskies loss snapped their nine-game winning streak and dropped the record to 15-5 on the season, as they finish as the #2 seed and will face the #3 seed Acadia Axewomen (14-6) in the semifinal.