2013 Subway AUS Women's Volleyball Championship preview
The 2013 Subway AUS Women's Volleyball Championship gets underway this Friday evening at Memorial University's Field House. The tournament will run from Friday to Sunday.
The tournament will feature the top six teams in the AUS conference that have been seeded based on their regular season performance. The teams in order from top seed to sixth seed are:
- Dalhousie Tigers
- Saint Mary's Huskies
- Les Aigles Bleues de l'Université de Moncton
- UNB Varsity Reds
- St. FX X-Women
- Memorial Sea-Hawks
The championship will get underway on Friday night with quarterfinal matches taking place at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. The first quarterfinal match features the UNB Varsity Reds versus the St. FX X-Women. The second quarterfinal will feature the host Memorial Sea-Hawks versus Moncton.
The semi-finals will take place on Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm and 6:30pm. In the first semi-final Dalhousie will play the winner of the UNB/St. FX match and in the second semi-final Saint Mary's awaits the winner of Memorial and Moncton.
The championship final will take place on Sunday at 2pm where the conference champion will be crowned. All tournament games will be available via webcast at www.AUStv.ca
Below you will find a short breakdown of each tournament team.
The Tigers, the number three team in the country, have had a dominant season in the AUS this year, leading the league with 32 points and a 16-2 record. The Tigers have not lost to AUS competition al season as their only two losses of the season came against teams of the Quebec conference in the interlock tournament. Dalhousie has a 14 game winning streak coming into the championship and rank number one in the conference in hitting percentage, points per set, and service aces per set. The Tigers will be led by two outstanding outside hitters. Maggie Li is following up her rookie of the year season with an excellent sophomore campaign. Li leads the AUS in service aces with 34, ranks eighth with 148 kills and fourth with 64 total blocks. The other standout for Dalhousie is senior Louise Facca who has been having a stellar final season. Facca is third in AUS in kills with 180, second in points per set with 3.8 and second to only her teammate Li, with 33 service aces. Dalhousie is coached by Rick Scott who is in his fifth year at the helm of the program.
Saint Mary's University Huskies
The defending AUS champion Huskies have had to deal with the graduation of perennial CIS all-star Kerri Smit this season. With back-to-back coach of the year Darren Russell guiding the team they have managed more than okay, earning a 10-8 record and a first round bye at the championship. The Huskies lead the AUS in kills, assists, and points. Ariel Smith, a senior year outside hitter, has been a force for the Huskies all year. Smith's 4.2 kills per set and 4.7 points per set rank her number one in the AUS and second in the CIS in those categories. Middle Nicole McCulloch will also be a player to watch for the Huskies, racking up 33 solo blocks this year and hitting at .262% on the season.
Les Aigles Bleues de l'Université de Moncton
The Aigles Bleues finish the season 8-10, coming into the championship on a five game slide, and will be Memorial's opponent in the quarterfinal Friday night. As a team Moncton rank second in the AUS with 81 solo blocks and third in hitting percentage at .150%. The Aigles Bleues attack will be led by outside hitters Joline Richard and Crissy Roy. Richard, in her 4th year, has 131 kills this season and has played solid defense with 191 digs. Roy, in her senior season, leads the team with 2.7 points per set and 24 service aces. The head coach of Moncton is Monette Boudreau-Carroll.
UNB Varsity Reds
UNB finish the season fourth with a 7-11 record and have seen much improvement over the year. The Varsity Reds are third in the league with 10.26 kills per set and second in service aces per set with 2.56. Second year right side Vanja Mitrovic leads the way for UNB. Mitrovic leads the team with 3.4 points per set and 175 kills. Middle Rebecca Glancy has been effective at the net, hitting at .289% and compiling 50 total blocks. The Varsity Reds are coached by Jillianne Goullet who is in her first season at the helm of the program.
StFX will enter the championship with a 7-10 record. The X-Women have seen some great team defensive play this year ranking first in AUS with 16.28 digs per set and 89 solo blocks. Middle Aneta Nejmanova has had a phenomenal rookie campaign. The Czech Republic native's .330 hitting percentage leads the AUS and ranks her fourth nationally. She also leads the league in solo blocks with 45. The X-Women will be led by 2009-10 AUS MVP Catherine Thornton. The outside hitter will see the majority of sets for the team as she leads the AUS with 788 attacks and finished the season second with 3.34 kills per set.
The Sea~Hawks host this year's AUS championship. Memorial earned a playoff berth without having to play their final two cancelled games against Acadia and finished the season with 10 points and a 5-11 record. Memorial boasts an impressive ability to stop the ball at the net, ranking second in CIS with 2.70 blocks per set. This is due to the veteran leadership of middles Chantel Jones and Angela Peddle who have been blocking and hitting efficiently all season. Jones ranks first in the CIS with 1.37 blocks per set and is hitting at .264%. Peddle boasts an impressive 1.09 blocks per set herself and her .292 hitting percentage ranks second in the AUS and ninth in the CIS. The presence of a healthy Sam March will also be a huge boost to the Sea~Hawks. March suffered a knee injury shortly after her transition back to left side from setter. Her attack will be dangerous as it earned her 212 kills in 17 games last season, tenth in CIS competition. The Sea-Hawks are coached by Bill Thistle. Memorial has previously won three Atlantic championships. The first two, in 1978-79 and 1980-81 were coached by Thistle. The other championship team in 1999-00 were coached by current Memorial assistant Karen Murphy.