The University of New Brunswick women’s volleyball team matched up against their rivals, the St. Thomas University Tommies in the “Make Noise for Mental Health” game night at the G. Forbes Elliott Athletics Center on Thursday.
Students and fans gathered at the UNBSJ gymnasium to cheer on the Seawolves as well as promote mental health awareness with the goal of reducing the stigma surrounding mental health.
The Tommies came into the match with a 12-5 record (3rd overall), with the Seawolves trailing close behind with their 11-7 record (4th place overall).
In their previous two match-ups, St. Thomas defeated the Seawolves 3-1 on both occasions.
Looking to redeem themselves in front of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Seawolves started setter Taylor McGrattan, middles Maggie Birney and Montanna Meyer, outside hitters Jenna DeGooyer, Madi Hartos, and Dayna Alexander, and libero Meghan Kozak.
The UNBSJ offence was effective in the early moments of the first set as they led 8-4. Maggie Birney landed step-around kills from McGrattan that the Tommies couldn’t defend. The Seawolves also served well and dominated the first half of the set.
The Tommies closed the gap midway through the set and forced the Seawolves to their first time-out at 13-12 for UNBSJ.
The Seawolves’ offence broke down after the time-out, and the Tommies began to gain momentum. They grabbed their first lead at 14-13.
The Tommies’ Claire Richard landed back-to-back aces from the service line to force UNBSJ to their second time out of the set as the Tommies led 21-19.
An exciting end of the set ensued, and the STU Tommies took the first set 25-23.
To start off the second set, UNBSJ head coach, Lauren Hale-Miller, switched liberos from Kozak to rookie, Olivia Bell.
The Seawolves’ Montanna Meyer landed her first kill of the night to get herself on the scoresheet. But that didn’t slow down St. Thomas as they gained a lead at 10-6.
Seawolves’ middle, Maggie Birney, buried her 5th step-around shot that the Tommies didn’t have an answer to.
Both teams continued to hound one another, but the Tommies were able to maintain their lead of 18-12, which eventually grew to 22-14.
The Seawolves executed their offence and slowly tried to inch their way back into the game, while DeGooyer and Alexander both landed kills for UNBSJ, bringing the score within reach – 24-21 for the Tommies.
Unfortunately, a Seawolves service error gave St. Thomas their last point of the second set, 25-21.
The Tommies got off to a quick start in the third, 7-2. Capitalizing on UNBSJ’s faults, they managed to distance themselves further to a 14-8 lead.
DeGooyer buried a cross-court kill and then headed to the service line for the Seawolves, in hopes to tighten the gap.
UNBSJ managed to catch up to their rivals, with setter Taylor McGrattan at the service line, who helped to bring Wolves to a tie at 18-18, resulting in a time-out for the Tommies.
Alexander landed a massive kill to keep her team close to their opponents, 21-20. Montanna Meyer towered over a Tommies kill for the huge block to give the Seawolves some momentum.
A hitting error from UNBSJ gave the Tommies the last point they needed to take the third and final set, 25-23.
The Tommies finished off the match sweeping the Seawolves 3-0 in the first annual “Make Noise for Mental Health” game night.
Jenna DeGooyer finished the night off with 9 kills, while Maggie Birney grabbed 8 of her own. Setter Taylor McGrattan put up a whopping 25 assists.
The Seawolves’ next match-up takes place at home for Think Pink Weekend on Sunday, February 11th at 11:00 am against the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus Rams.
Come out and support your Seawolves or catch the action live at home on acaatv.ca.