Photo credit Martin Bazyl
TORONTO (CIS) – The OUA champion Toronto Varsity Blues defeated the AUS champion Dalhousie Tigers 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-6) in front of a boisterous hometown crowd in the third quarter-final of the 2015 CIS women’s volleyball championship, presented by Canuck Stuff, Thursday evening at Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.
The win marks Toronto’s first CIS quarter-final victory since the 2002 national tournament and third in program history. U of T is now 2-0 versus Dalhousie at the CIS championship, having defeated them 3-2 at the 1992 tournament.
The OUA champions advance to Saturday’s second championship semifinal, where they will face the winner of the No. 2 Alberta Pandas and No. 7 Ottawa Gee-Gees. The Tigers will face the losers of that quarter-final match in tomorrow’s second consolation semifinal, set for 1:30 p.m.
“One of the things we talked about was implementing our systems and managing ourselves well,” said U of T’s Kristine Drakich, who was named the 2015 CIS coach of the year last night. “I really think as a group, as a collective, we managed ourselves really really well. Each piece is important. It was great.”
Fourth-year middle Bojana Radan of Windsor, Ont., led all players with 10 kills and 4.5 blocks, while both 2015 CIS all-Canadian Charlotte Sider (Ottawa) and Caleigh Cruickshank (Etobicoke, Ont.) added seven kills and seven digs on the night.
Setter Madelyn Mandryk of Lockport, Man., tallied 34 assists and seven digs, with fifth-year veteran Jennifer Neilson (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) adding six kills, three blocks and two aces in the victory.
“I thought we were a little tentative and nervous but give Toronto credit they played really well,” said Rick Scott, head coach of the Tigers. “They really won the first contact, they served tough and passed really well. We need to play a little bit better. We are a young team but I think if we can be better with our serving it will set us up for a better result tomorrow.”
Fifth-year middle and Toronto native Alexandra Hudson notched two kills and three blocks against her former Blues team, while Anna Dunn-Duen and Mieke Dumont each had four kills.
Radan led the Blues through the first set, notching five kills and two blocks, as the home team built a 16-8 lead at the first break. Sophomore middle Tessa Davis was also vital, adding two kills and two aces late in the frame to take the first 25-10.
The second was a much closer battle to start, even at 8-8. The Blues took over from there to take a 16-11 advantage at the technical timeout and a 25-19 second set win.
Toronto got out to a 12-4 lead in the third and didn’t look back, ending on a 13-2 streak and two final kills from Sider sealed the match, 25-6.
Kills: Bojana Radan (10), Charlotte Sider (7), Caleigh Cruickshank (7)
Points: Bojana Radan (14.5), Charlotte Sider (12)
Blocks: Bojana Radan (4.5), Charlotte Sider (4)
Digs: Caleigh Cruickshank (7), Madelyn Mandryk (7), Charlotte Sider (7), Jennifer Neilson (7)
Service aces: Caleigh Cruickshank (2), Jennifer Neilson (2), Tessa Davis (2)
Player of the match: Bojana Radan
Kills: Mieke Dumont (4), Anna Dunn-Suen (4)
Points: Mieke Dumont (5), Alexandra Hudson (5)
Blocks: Alexandra Hudson (3)
Digs: Marisa Mota (9), Mieke Dumont (9)
Service aces: Julie Theisen (1)
Player of the match: Mieke Dumont
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. 3 Toronto 3, No. 6 Dalhousie 0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-6)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 7 Ottawa vs. No. 2 Alberta (www.CIS-SIC.tv)