Photo credit Martin Bazyl
TORONTO (CIS) – The top-seeded Trinity Western Spartans overcame a two-set deficit to defeat the No. 8 Laval Rouge et Or, 3-2 (24-26, 24-26, 25-15, 25-16, 15-8), in the second quarter-final on Day 1 of the 2015 CIS women’s volleyball championship, presented by Canuck Stuff, hosted at the University of Toronto.
Trinity Western advances to Saturday’s championship semifinal versus the RSEQ champion Montréal Carabins, who blanked the UBC Thunderbirds, 3-0, in the first quarter-final of the day.
It was the first time the Spartans have topped the Rouge et Or in their four meetings on the national stage.
“I know this team's not going to give up,” said Spartans head coach Ryan Hofer, now in his 10th season at the helm. “This team will not quit and I'm very proud of the effort and everything they've put in, to go right to the end. This team wants to accomplish some special things and they're working hard for it.”
Ottawa native Sophie Carpentier and CIS all-Canadian Alicia Perrin of Creston, B.C., led the Spartans with 18 and 19 kills, respectively, while setter Vanessa Cornwall tallied 50 assists and 11 digs on the day.
Third-year outside hitter Elizabeth Wendel recorded 10 kills, and Kristen Moncks added a game-high 17 digs in the victory.
The Rouge et Or will now take on the Thunderbirds in tomorrow’s consolation semifinal at 11:30 a.m.
“Overall, it was a great game,” said Laval head coach Olivier Caron. “In the first two sets, we were very disciplined, had a solid game plan and we follow it to a T. In the third, I thought we became a little impatient and gave them a few points and it allowed them to get back in the game. You could see their confidence growing. From there, I think they showed why they are ranked number one.”
Fourth-year outside hitter Valérie Lemay of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., recorded a game-high 16 kills, while adding 13 digs and three aces. Setter Emilie Ducharme tallied 34 assists and 13 digs. Both Audrea Bertrand and Esther Gilbert had a team-high 15 digs in the loss.
“I’m disappointed with the result, of course, but the girls have nothing to be ashamed of,” added Caron. “We had nothing to lose coming into this match, we gave it everything we had. Hats off to Trinity Western, they’re a very good team.”
The first set was truly a back-and-forth battle, with neither team holding more than a five-point lead as Lemay and Carpentier traded kills throughout. Down 22-20, Laval went on a 6-2 streak to take the first 26-24.
The Spartans got out to an early 5-0 lead in the second but the Rouge et Or again battled back to even it up at 22-22. Laval did it again, riding a 4-2 run and a final ace from Lemay gave the RSEQ silver medalists a 2-0 match lead (26-24).
It was all Trinity Western from there, however, as the Spartans hit .328 in the third, committing only one error, and .219 in the fourth, to even the match at 2-2.
Trinity Western built a lopsided 11-1 lead in the fifth and despite a Rouge et Or rally, two final points from Wendel sealed the match 15-8.
Kills: Alicia Perrin (19), Sophie Carpentier (18), Elizabeth Wendel (10)
Points: Sophie Carpentier (24.0), Alicia Perrin (20.5)
Blocks: Sophie Carpentier (5), Katelyn Devaney (4)
Digs: Kristen Moncks (17)
Service aces: Rachel Flink (3)
Player of the match: Alicia Perin
Kills: Valérie Lemay (16), Sophie Dallaire (10)
Points: Valérie Lemay (20), Sophie Dallaire (15)
Blocks: Sophire Dallaire (4)
Digs: Esther Gilbert (16)
Service aces: Valérie Lemay (3), Emily Ducharme (3)
Player of the match: Valérie Lemay
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. 1 Trinity Western 3, No. 8 Laval 2 (24-26, 24-26, 25-15, 25-16, 15-8)
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)