The men’s volleyball Varsity Reds took on the Dalhousie Tigers this past weekend in a rematch of last year’s Atlantic University Sport final.
The Tigers dashed the V-Reds’ championship dreams last February with consecutive 3-2 victories in the best-of-three series. This weekend’s matches were sadly reminiscent of last season’s defeat, with the Tigers taking both games with scores of 3-1 and 3-0 respectively.
Sunday’s game was much closer than the score indicated, with the teams trading points for the entirety of the three sets. Unfortunately for UNB, Dalhousie was able to capitalize when it counted, and sealed the deal in three straight sets.
The match started off rocky for both sides, with each team losing several points off service errors and ill-timed hits.
The V-Reds led for the majority of the first set, but faltered in the final few plays and fell 25-22 to the Tigers.
Ryan Colpitts, a second-year player with the V-Reds, was one of the few bright spots during the sloppy first set as he registered five kills.
UNB stepped up their game in the second set but victory proved to be elusive, with a final score of 25-20 in favour of Dalhousie. Colpitts continued his dominant play with eight more kills and several game-saving dives, while veterans Marc White and Mathieu Losier both contributed with a number of impressive plays.
Facing a two-set deficit, UNB came out in the third set looking for revenge. With many unforced errors on Dalhousie’s part, the V-Reds looked poised to come out on top in the third. UNB’s Markiel Simpson had an impressive performance, with back-to-back kills to help UNB take the lead 21-19. The Tigers were not deterred, however, and clawed their way back into the game.
With the score tied at 25-25, both teams fumbled a number of key serves. The teams exchanged points for several plays, but a kill by Connor Maessen of the Dalhousie Tigers proved to be the game-winner.
Final score of the third set was 31-29 for Dalhousie.
Friday night’s game started off poorly for the V-Reds, with the home team losing many points off hits. Strong play from the V-Reds’ Losier and Brett Ledrew could not stop the Tigers, who took the first set with a score of 25-12.
UNB looked poised for a comeback in the second set, following a huge kill by White that cut the score to 20-19 in favour of Dalhousie.
The home team continued to gain momentum, and thanks to several big blocks from Craig Toonders, UNB was back in the game with a 26-24 victory.
While the third set started off strong for the V-Reds, the team lost the lead early on following several out-of-bounds hits. While the teams battled back and forth for the majority of the set, including a 24-24 tie, the Tigers eventually ended the set with a score of 27-25.
The close loss proved to be too much for UNB, who subsequently lost the fourth and final set 25-20 to the Tigers.
This weekend’s losses dropped UNB’s record to 2-3 in conference play. The team will be traveling to St. John’s this weekend to take on the Memorial University of Newfoundland Sea-Hawks.
In women’s volleyball action, UNB went 2-0 this weekend with convincing victories over Dalhousie and Acadia.
In Sunday’s match, UNB started off strong and never looked back, leading by five for most of the first set. Final score for the set was 25-20 in favour of UNB.
The second set started off in much the same way, with Paige Paulsen setting up kills from three different players to take the lead 4-0.
Countless attack errors on Acadia’s part paved the way for a decisive 25-12 win for UNB.
Sarah Ross led the charge for UNB in the third set, with two consecutive aces and three kills. The set was never close, with UNB taking the set 25-17.
With a 3-1 win against Dalhousie the previous night, the Varsity Reds are a perfect 3-0 in conference play this season. The team will be traveling to Cape Breton this Friday to take on the Capers, who are winless in four games thus far.