The UNB Saint John Seawolves men’s volleyball team was swept by the visiting St. Thomas University Tommies on Thursday night, which was played out at the G. Forbes Elliot Athletics Centre in front of a full home crowd.
This was one of the most important games of the season for the Seawolves, Tommies, fans and outside spectators. Both the Men and Women squads battled out at their home gym in support of Make Some Noise for Mental Health – a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) wide initiative created in order to raise awareness for mental health. The original event was created by SAIT Polytechnic in Alberta and has since garnered national attention. In order to break the stigma surrounding mental health, fans are encouraged to be as loud as possible and to keep the conversation going post-game.
The original event was created by SAIT Polytechnic in Alberta and has since garnered national attention. In order to break the stigma surrounding mental health, fans are encouraged to be as loud as possible and to keep the conversation going post-game.
The first set started out slowly due to a few errors from both teams. But the Tommies were able to break away from the wolf-pack, but this momentum was seized by three huge blocks in a row from Zane Hamilton (Hartland, NB). However, this was neutralized following a service error from setter Patrick Kendall (Fredericton, NB).
Both teams seemed to be evenly matched, but it wasn’t until the Tommies were up 17-16 that they began to pull away and ultimately beat the home team 25-23.
The second set started out strong for St. Thomas, as they took an early 6-0 lead. Assistant Coach, Lauren Hale-Miller, planned on breaking the Tommies’ momentum by taking a timeout. This brought some life back into the Wolves, as Luke O’Grady (Barrie, ON) came out of the huddle with a huge kill. But St. Thomas was able to overcome the determined Seawolves’ new-found energy and continued their streak, taking a 17-12 lead.
A couple of attack errors from the Tommies gave UNB Saint John a chance to catch their breath, and they were able to come back to within three points thanks to a kill from O’Grady. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough and the Tommies took the second set 25-20.
UNB Saint John started out the third with another big kill from O’Grady, and gave them their first lead while starting a set. They were able to maintain their lead for the majority of the first half, and it wasn’t until midway through that the Tommies began to respond. A couple of service and attack errors from the Wolves gave the Tommies an 11-9 lead.
The Tommies continued their run for another six points before the Wolves called another timeout. This brought some life back into the team, and they were able to go on a five-point run until St. Thomas called a timeout of their own.
With the game tied 24-24, a service error from the Wolves gave the Tommies a small, yet important lead. Following this, STU’s offence was much more determined than the defence of the home team, ending the match 3-0.
With the loss, UNB Saint John drops to 7-7, falling to third in the conference. The Tommies are now 8-6, advancing to second place.
Rookies Christian Christie of the Tommies led both teams with 10 kills and five digs. O’Grady and Ty Poore (Fredericton, NB) led the Wolves with 10 kills each, and seven and four digs, respectively.
UNB Saint John is scheduled to play on Sunday, February 11th, as they host the Université Sainte-Anne Dragons in support of their annual Think Pink event. First serve is scheduled is for 1:00 pm.
Games can be streamed at acaatv.ca