Photo by: Brenden Cowan
Entering the third week of November, the Badger’s women’s volleyball team has not exactly been a Badger-affiliate reporter’s dream, especially after their first two regular season wins; they’re just too good. They haven’t lost a single game (and only four sets) over the regular season and pre-season, which means they just haven’t provided a lot of content. Fresh off an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship and already looking to be in peak form, the women’s volleyball team have delivered a spectacular, if drama-less start to the season.
On Nov. 12 with a game in Guelph, the Badger’s kicked off the regular season with an eight-day period containing four matches, starting with a doubleheader against the Gryphons.
The first set would offer some early intrigue in a back-and-forth effort. Though Brock would score the game’s first points, Guelph and the Badgers traded points, neither team being able to piece together a scoring run of more than three until late in the set. Guelph stayed within two until Brock turned on the jets up 14-12. After scoring six of the next seven, and 11 of the final 19, Brock took the first set 25-20, which would be the closest of the day.
After 7-3 scoring runs for Brock to start both the second and third sets, the Badger’s grabbed commanding leads that they never relinquished, leaving Guelph on Saturday with a game one victory.
On the following day, the Badgers returned to Bob Davis Gymnasium for their home opener, also against Guelph. This home opener was also cause for greater celebration than normal, giving the opportunity to reveal the banner for the Badgers’ 2021-22 OUA Volleyball Championship.
Despite dropping the first three points and five of the first seven, the Badgers never let their championship pedigree be questioned for more than a second.
After having a little trouble beating Guelph in a 20-25 first set, the Badgers came right back and decimated Guelph by a score of 25-12 in the second set. Though there was some more resistance, in keeping with the season’s theme, Brock defeated Guelph 25-17 in a final set that was never really in question, delivering Brock another 3-0 victory and a weekend sweep over the Guelph Gryphons.
The total-team efforts also revealed some key performers from the weekend. On Saturday, Sara Rohr quarterbacked the offence providing 21 assists, while adding two aces and a block. Aleiah Torres anchored the defence with 16 digs in the match. Grace Pyatt led the team in kills with nine, while Madison Chimienti had a strong all-around effort with six kills, two aces, eight digs and an assist.
On Sunday, Chimienti continued her strong body of work with a game-high ten kills, two aces and an assist. Christina Jovetic was also impressive with seven kills, two aces and three blocks. Rohr and Torres continued to perform in their roles perfectly, leading the game in assists (23) and digs (8) respectively.
Nov. 18’s game against the Waterloo Warriors would be a bit of a different story.
Though they would eventually come out on top, the first set was a close one. The Warriors pushed Brock hard all set, but after going up 11-10, Brock would be able to fend off the Warriors and hold onto their slim lead for a 26-24 victory.
The second set was much the same. Even closer than the first set, the lead in the second flip-flopped several times but with Waterloo maintaining the upper hand throughout most of the frame. A loss seemed imminent with Waterloo up 24-21, but a quick four point run by Brock got them out ahead by one, and they made good on their opportunity, winning 27-25.
After collecting the first two points of the third, Brock fell behind 6-3 before roaring out to go up 12-9. Neither side could muster up more than three points in a row for the rest of the set, leaving Brock and Waterloo to trade short runs. Brock’s comeback effort would come up short, falling 25-21.
The fourth set would start as the most even of them all. The advantage changed hands several times and the score differential only rose above two once before Brock took a 19-16 lead. The Badgers frittered away their largest lead of the set on a four point run, losing 25-22.
In what looked to be their first real challenge of the season, the Badger’s faced a fifth set for the first time in a regular season or playoff game since 2020. In keeping with the rest of the sets, it wasn’t going to be easy either.
An early six-point stretch by Brock got them an early 9-4 lead, but a couple three-point runs kept Waterloo within two. Ultimately, it wouldn’t be enough, as the Badgers came out 15-13 and won the game three sets to two.
Chimienti, Jovetic, Rohr and Torres all continued to impress with fantastic performances. Sara Rohr had a game-high 60 assists, which also made up over half of the total assists in the game, in addition to her 13 digs. Torres’ 26 digs were also a game high, while Chimenti (17 kills) and Jovetic (13 kills and two aces) rounded out the Badger’s offensively.
The Badger’s next played at home against McMaster University on Nov. 20 where they continued their winning ways. Though the Badgers dropped the second set, they won comfortably in sets one and three, and dominated the fourth set 25-10. Rohr, 36 assists and 10 digs, and Chimienti, 17 kills and 11 digs, held the fort for Brock as they improved to 4-0.
For the Badgers’ complete schedule and results, keep up to date with their gobadgers.ca page.