Photo credit Martin Bazyl
TORONTO (CIS) – The RSEQ champion University of Montreal Carabins opened the 2015 CIS women’s volleyball championship, presented by Canuck Stuff, with a bang, defeating the Canada West powerhouse UBC Thunderbirds 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-16) in the first quarter-final on Thursday afternoon at U of T’s Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
With the win, the Carabins advance to their fifth CIS championship semifinal in the past 10 years and put an end to UBC’s 10-year quarter-final win streak on the national level.
Montreal will face the winner of the No. 8 Laval Rouge et Or and No. 1 Trinity Western Spartans in semi-final action on Saturday at 2 p.m., while UBC will take on the loser of that match in a consolation semifinal Friday at 11:30 a.m.
"I think UBC is probably the best, most stable team and program in the last decade, so it's a huge win for us,” said Carabins head coach Olivier Trudel. “We knew it was going to be hard, and it was, because the score meant nothing. We had to fight for every point and we knew that UBC would fight for it.”
Fourth-year Carabins outside hitter Vicky Savard of Ottawa was spectacular in the tournament-opener, leading all players with 17 kills. Veteran Marie-Sophie Nadeau (Saint-Aimé, Qué.) also tallied nine kills and added 11 digs, earning player of the match honours.
Second-year setter Katia Forcier recorded 38 assists, with Marie-Alex Bélanger adding seven kills and eight digs in the win.
Third-year left side hitter Danielle Brisebois topped the Thunderbirds with 11 kills, seven digs and four blocks, while Lisa Barclay notched eight kills, nine digs and two blocks in the loss.
“I’m very disappointed that we didn’t compete better,” said Doug Reimer, now in his 18th season as UBC bench boss. “I didn’t feel that we battled hard enough in enough aspects of the game. We had plenty of opportunities in the first two sets. I don’t think we showed everything we can.”
UBC got out to an 8-4 lead in the first set, but the Carabins rallied to even the score at 9-9. A Rosie Schlagintweit kill gave the T-Birds a 16-14 lead at the technical timeout. Savard evened it right back up at 17-17 and Sarah Gosselin sealed the first set, 25-22, for the Carabins.
Montreal picked up where they left off and built a 16-11 advantage at the second set break. Despite some great work from Brisebois, the Carabins took a 2-0 match lead with the 25-18 second set victory.
The third set saw Montreal build a 16-9 lead at the technical timeout. UBC showed signs of rallying, but the Carabins were too far ahead as a Nadeau kill ended the match 25-16 in favour of Montreal.
Kills: Vicky Savard (17), Marie-Sophie Nadeau (9), Marie-Alex Bélanger (7)
Points: Vicky Savard (17.5), Marie-Sophie Nadeau (11), Sarah Gosselin (9.5)
Blocks: Sarah Gosselin (3), Alexane L. Joly (1)
Digs: Marie-Sophie Nadeau (11)
Service aces: Mikhaella Blanchette (3), Katia Forcier (2)
Player of the match: Marie-Sophie Nadeau
Kills: Danielle Brisbeois (11), Lisa Barclay (8)
Points: Danielle Brisbeois (16), Lisa Barclay (10)
Blocks: Danielle Brisbeois (4), Lisa Barclay (2)
Digs: Lisa Barclay (9)
Service aces: Danielle Brisbeois (1), Abbey Keeping (1)
Player of the match: Abbey Keeping
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
Thursday, February 26
13:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 4 Montreal 3, No. 5 UBC 0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-16)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: No. 8 Laval vs. No. 1 Trinity Western (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 6 Dalhousie vs. No. 3 Toronto (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 7 Ottawa vs. No. 2 Alberta (www.CIS-SIC.tv)