Tigers spoil home openers
The Memorial volleyball teams hosted Dalhousie in their home opening weekend in AUS volleyball action. After a weekend of close sets and competitive volleyball Dalhousie walked away with all four wins.
The Memorial women's volleyball team finished their weekend with a 2-2 record after losing a pair of matches at the Field House this weekend against the visiting Dalhousie Tigers.
Saturday Dalhousie 3 Memorial 0 (boxscore)
The Dalhousie Tigers spoiled the Sea-Hawks homeopener on Saturday in front of a large home crowd at the Field House taking a 3-0 victory.
Prior to the start of the match there was an emotional tribute to Erin Bursey that featured a moment of silence.
The first set was tight throughout but Dalhousie came back after Memorial took an early lead. The Tigers, the eighth ranked team in the country, took the momentum and the first set 26-24.
The Tigers rode the momentum taking the second set 25-20 before closing out the match in three sets with a narrow 25-23 third set win.
Setter Abby Czenze was the 99.1 HITS FM Player of the Game for Dalhousie with 23 assists. Maggie Li led the Tiger attack with 9 kills while Louise Facca added 8.
Fourth year middle Angela Peddle led Memorial with 10 kills while senior middle Chantel Jones added 8. Setter Sam March had 23 assists and 3 solo blocks in the loss.
Rookies Jill Snow and Samantha Jubinville were effective defensively with 14 and 13 digs respectively.
A special presentation took place post-match where friends of Erin Bursey presented a cheque for $35,480 to Memorial University for the Erin Bursey Memorial Leadership Award. Briana McNamara, Lisa Pinto, Julie Dwyer, Melanie Burry, and Stephanie Reid organized a fundraiser in September to raise money for the award. They more than doubled their fundraising goal. The award will go to annually to a Memorial student-athlete leader and will be a minimum of $2,000. The first award will be presented in April at the annual Athletics Awards Night.
Sunday Dalhousie 3 Memorial 0 (boxscore)
The Dalhousie Tigers improved to 6-2 while the Memorial Sea-Hawks fell to an even 2-2 after the Tigers took a 3-0 victory on Sunday to sweep the AUS women's volleyball weekend series.
The first set once again appeared to set the tone as the Tigers grabbed the momentum and the set 26-24. After that Dalhousie took control as they took the second and third sets 25-16 and 25-18 respectively.
Dalhousie's Marlee Powers led the Tigers in the win with 10 kills. Defensively Tarah Truant was all over the court with a match-high 18 digs.
Memorial had trouble getting their attack going after the first set. However the team had a balanced attack with Chantel Jones leading the way with 5 kills. Three Sea-Hawks each added 4 kills. Rookies Jill Snow and Samantha Jubinville each had 10 digs in the loss. Jones assisted on 8 blocks.
Memorial coach Bill Thistle was disappointed with the team's performance this weekend.
He said, "We did not pass, communicate or compete well. We have to compete far better than that if we are going to have a successful season. We have quite a bit of work to do to start playing to the level of our expectations."
Memorial will head to Montreal next weekend for the interlock tournament against the talented teams of the Quebec conference (RSEQ). They will play McGill, Sherbrooke, Montreal and Laval.
The Memorial men's volleyball team lost a pair of competitive matches against Dalhousie this weekend.
Saturday Dalhousie 3 Memorial 1 (boxscore)
The Dalhousie Tigers took a narrow 3-1 victory over Memorial on Saturday night in front of a large home crowd. The Sea-Hawks showed that they are not far from turning the corner in the competitive AUS with some fine play despite the loss.
In a first set that played out similar to the women's game earlier in the evening Dalhousie took a couple of critical points late to earn a 25-23 win.
Memorial came back hard in the second set. Senior left side Drew.Stephens went on a run of several consecutive kills as the Sea-Hawks went on to draw the match even with a 25-20 set win.
In the crucial third set a couple of untimely errors derailed a late Memorial surge as the Tigers took command of the match with another 25-23 win.
In the third Dalhousie finished the match with a 25-17 win.
Stephens had a great effort for Memorial in the loss with 28 kills and 13 digs to earn the 97.5 K-Rock Player of the Game. Fellow senior Brad Pitcher also had a big night with 54 assists.
Nathan Tilley added 13 kills and got in on five blocks including two solo stops. Josh Ennis had a match-high 14 digs.
For Dalhousie Bryan Duquette was named the player of the game with 12 kills and 8 digs. Alex Dempsey led the Tigers with 13 kills. Setter Rob Johnson had 41 assists in the win.
Between the first and second set the Sea-Hawks men's volleyball team hosted their second annual Teddy Toss for the VOCM Happy Tree with over 100 teddy bears donated.
Sunday Dalhousie 3 Memorial 1 (boxscore)
For the second straight day the Dalhousie Tigers took a narrow 3-1 victory over Memorial on Sunday afternoon at the Field House. The win improved the Tigers to 4-3 while the Sea-Hawks fell to 0-7 with the loss.
Dalhousie looked to have control of the match early after taking the first two sets by scores of 25-15 and 25-21.
Memorial came back in third to make it interesting with a 25-22 set victory led by Drew Stephens and Nathan Tilley to make it a 2-1 score.
The fourth set was another highly competitive set that was a microcosm of the series as the Sea-Hawks kept it close but it was Dalhousie earning the win 25-22. The set win made the final score 3-1 for Dalhousie.
Stephens, an outside hitter from Lower Sackville, once again was the focus of the Memorial attack with 23 kills in the loss. Tilley, a 6'7 fourth year, added 9 kills and got in on 7 blocks including 1 solo and 6 assisted. Brad Pitcher, a senior setter from Clarenville, had 38 assists.
Alex Dempsey and Bryan Duquette each had 16 kills in the win to lead Dalhousie. Rob Johnson had 50 of the team's 52 assists.
Memorial played very competitively in the series against Dalhousie this weekend and appears to be headed in the right direction in AUS men's volleyball.
They will head to Quebec City next weekend for the second interlock tournament against the teams of the RSEQ. They will play Montreal, Laval and Sherbrooke in the tournament hosted by Laval University.