The Varsity Reds women’s volleyball team fell 3-0 to the Dalhousie University (Dal) Tigers and 3-2 to the Saint Mary’s Huskies in their Think Pink Weekend.
Dal sits first in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) standings, and have clinched the first round bye into playoffs. The loss pushed the Reds from third to fourth in the standings.
“We fought hard and we left there with our heads held high after the match,” said UNB head coach Jilliane Goulet. “I don’t think the 3-0 really spells the whole story on the match; it was a good match and just some errors at the wrong time.”
Despite the errors, Goulet said it was a good example of how they can play with the top teams in the league.
“I don’t think there’s a huge gap in the top of the league,” said Goulet.
Their second game would be against the second-place Huskies, where they would take them to all five sets.
“We didn’t go in thinking ‘oh, it’s David and Goliath,’ ”she said. “We just went in thinking ‘it’s going to be a challenging game, but here we go, let’s go fight.’ ”
After a tough rally the Huskies would start the game off with a point in their favour. The score would be close until the Huskies got on a hot streak and got six points in a row, getting them an 18-10 lead. The Reds would rally back to get five more points, but they would fall 25-15 in the first.
The second set would be in their favour, however.
Trailing behind in points from the beginning, they would come back to tie the game 8-8. From there, they would go back and forth leading and tying, but Celina Abba would get back to back kills, furthering the score 23-19 and 24-19.
The Reds would take the second set 25-20.
“They fought, they adjusted, they stayed aggressive and did what they could,” said Goulet.
The third set would be much like the second, where the score went back and forth, no one taking a dominant lead. Each team got a kill – Reds Rebecca Glancy having the most for UNB in the third, and Huskie Josie LeDuc leading her team – and set up blocks.
The blocks and hits just weren’t enough for the Reds and they would fall to the Huskies 25-19 in the third set.
But once again they would come back with a fight, keeping the Huskies on their toes.
UNB would take the first three points of the fourth, setting the tone for the rest of the set. Rebecca Glancy would get a kill, followed by a service ace from teammate Taylor Hutchinson and another kill by Glancy, getting them an 8-3 lead.
With more blocks from Abba and Paige Paulsen, the Reds would never give up their lead in the fourth and would finish it 25-16, pushing it to a tie-breaking fifth set.
The Reds would trail until it was 9-6 and they would come back with a service ace, two rallying points and a huge kill by Abba to give them a 10-10 tie.
But it wouldn’t be enough, and the Huskies would take a 16-14 win over the Reds.
Fourth-year Abba said she is disappointed to lose the last two home games of the season, but was happy with how the team played and is looking forward to the next couple of weeks.
“We really wanted to beat them because winning this game might have helped up get third,” he said. “So it was a little frustrating.”
Goulet said she is making sure the women don’t focus on the outcome of the game, but is getting the girls to focus on the upcoming weeks. She said it was anybody’s game over the weekend and the standings don’t mean anything until the game is played.
“It’s a good sign that there’s some parody in the league,” said Goulet. “There’s nobody that’s running away with things as far as teams being able to play with anybody at the top.”
The Reds travel to play the Acadia Axewomen on Feb. 8 and play the Moncton Aigles Blues the following afternoon.
“Starting Monday we have to get our grind on,” said Abba.