Quarter-Final 1: Pandas score come from behind win over the Carabins to reach the semifinal

Quarter-Final 1: Pandas score come from behind win over the Carabins to reach the semifinal

The Montréal Carabins seemed in control of the match, until the Alberta Pandas woke up.

Trailing 2-0 in their quarter-final match at the U SPORTS Women's Volleyball Championship presented by Hotel Universel Quebec, Alberta orchestrated a superb comeback to defeat Montréal 3-2 (15-25, 20-25, 25-17, 25-22, 15-12) on Friday afternoon at PEPS on the Laval University campus.

The Canada West semifinalists are guaranteed to play for a medal on Sunday, after having won the silver last year. Alberta will face the winner of the UBC Thunderbirds-Dalhousie Tigers quarterfinal match on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT As for the RSEQ champions, they can do no better than fifth place. Montréal, who lost in the bronze-medal match last year, will take on the UBC-Dalhousie loser in a consolation semifinal on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT.

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"We just had to find our own game and stop giving them points. They're a very good team, they can get their points themselves," said Pandas head coach Laurier Eisler. "We just needed to settle in our style of play."

Asked to explain what changed after the second set for her team, Eisler had the following response:

"I think our serve game improved, our passing game improved, we started being able offensively to do some things that we wanted to do against them. And once you start to do those things, your defence improves. We won a number of long rallies."

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For Montréal, head coach Olivier Trudel clearly identified the reasons for the Carabins' setback starting in the third set.

"We took the foot off the gas a bit. We stopped putting as much pressure as we had been on their serve and on offence. And the Pandas started to raise their level of play, they picked up many balls and served more aggressively. That changed the game. In the fifth set, it was relatively close. We tried to come back, but we ran out of time, unfortunately."

The Pandas' player of the game, setter Eryn Orysiuk, made 34 assists as well as scoring one ace and assisting on four blocks. For the Carabins, the national player of the year, Marie-Alex Bélanger, earned player of the game honours after scoring 25 points on 20 kills, three aces and two solo blocks.


Players of the game:

Alberta Pandas: Eryn Orysiuk

Montréal Carabins: Marie-Alex Bélanger