The UNB Saint John women’s volleyball team saw their season come to an end in three sets against the Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) Mystics . The semi-final game, hosted at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in Truro NS and was played out in front of a full crowd of both Mystic and Seawolf supporters alike.
Coming off of the quarter final win against STU the day before, the Seawolves faced a daunting task of trying to eliminate the fist seed and well rested MSVU Mystics.
The first set started out very strong for both teams, and saw some key defensive plays from Seawolves second year player, Madi Hartos.
The Mystics were able to return the favour in terms of defense, a fact that Hartos was quick to point out after the match.
“Our offense was really good, but they just had some large blocks and they dug almost every ball. They played extremely well.”
Although the Wolves kept up with the Mystics for most of the first, there was a bit of lapse where the Seawolves allowed them to go on a bit of a run.
A huge double block from Hartos and Montanna Meyer changed the atmosphere, allowing the Wolves to come back as the gym erupted with cheers.
MSVU followed this play with a service error, followed by an attack error to bring the Wolves back within two.
The streak did not continue and the Seawolves found themselves taking a timeout to sort themselves out. Coming off timeout with a kill from Dayna Alexander brought the Seawolves back into the set mentally.
Unfortunately, the Wolves were unable to capitalize on the excitement, and the first set ended 25-13.
The second set started out with some receiving errors from the Wolves, but a big kill from Meyer brought some excitement back into the gym.
“I think we really came together as a team during the second set. We pulled through and closed the score a little bit, so I thought that was really good,” said Meyer post-game. “We communicated well and put up a really good fight against a team that has had a lot of success in the past.”
A second kill from Meyer followed by two straight service aces from Jenna DeGooyer tied the set 9-9.
MSVU was then able to get a few key hits, and pulled away by 4 points until a kill from Julia Paslawksi stopped the Mystics run and pushed the Seawolves into double digits.
This, followed by a hit from Meyer, plus an additional attack by DeGooyer brought the Wolves back within one point.
Both teams traded points back and forth with MSVU pulling away again, but at 21-18, DeGooyer hit another ball straight into the ground on the Mystics side, which brought the team back within two.
MSVU found their stride and finished the set with three quick points and a huge hit from Mystics Player of the Game, Camille Martinez, winning 25-19.
The third set saw both teams come out slow, and although there were several long rallies, most of them ended in favour of the Mystics. The Wolves allowed the Mystics go on a four point run which was followed by a service ace, forcing the Wolves to call a timeout.
UNB Saint John appeared to be in a slump they couldn’t get out of, and were facing a daunting 16-6 score.
After another timeout, the Seawolves appeared to be rejuvenated, and were able to notch another two points off of big plays.
A couple of errors from the Mystics brought the Wolves back within seven, but the Mystics fueled off the energy of such a large lead, did not give it up for the remainder of the set and a big hit from Jenn Leckey finished the game with a score of 25-14 for the Mystics.
Indigo Clements dug up 11 hits for the Player of the Game Award on the Seawolves side, and Martinez was awarded the Mystics player of the game title.
“It was the last game of my career, and it was awesome,” said Clements. “I think MSVU is a really good team, but we tried our hardest and next year we are going to have a good set up.”
Madison Urquhart of the Mystics also commented post game.
“It feels good, but it’s been hard… We’ve put a lot of hard work in to win our games, so it feels really good because it’s paid off. We play [Holland College] tomorrow, and if we win, it will be our sixth straight championship so I’m excited.”
MSVU and the Holland College Hurricanes will face off at 12:00 PM on Sunday, February 26 in the ACAA 2017 Volleyball Championship with the winner travelling to Victoria, British Columbia to compete for the CCAA National title at Camosun College.
All games can be streamed at acaatv.ca.