Photo by: Charlie Martin
Continuing a five-game win streak, the Badgers’ women’s volleyball team captured their final two home victories of the regular season over the Queen’s University Gaels this weekend.
A middle-of-the-pack team, Queen’s gave Brock a chance to cement their place in the top of the OUA.
The Badgers got to work early on their goal in a set that saw them flex their hitting prowess. Queen’s kept it close throughout the set, only falling 25-20; however Brock’s 16 kills and .429 hitting percentage simply overpowered the Gaels.
The second set saw much the same for both sides. Posting identical hitting percentages, neither team could gain much of an edge. Neither team were able to go up by more than two until they found themselves knotted at 19.
Three kills, all courtesy of assists from Sarah Rohr and an attack error from Queen’s quickly put Brock in the driver’s seat with only two points separating them from the end of the set. Though the Gaels added two more, Brock put the wraps on set number two as well, claiming it 25-21 in a game that was soon becoming closer than the score.
The third set began just like the other two without either team jumping out to a big lead, at least early on. Queen’s had kept the score close all night thanks to their strong play at the net, and in the third set, it was starting to finally pay dividends on the scoreboard. As the Badgers struggled to deal with the Gaels’ blocking, Queen’s went up 18-12.
Undeterred, the Badgers battled back, tying the score at 20. Brock wouldn’t look back from there and, sealing it on a block from Grace Pyatt, the Badgers took the third and final set 25-22.
Very tight for a 3-0 match, the Badgers only held a 46.0 – 45.0 lead in points over all three sets. Nevertheless, the Badgers led by significant margins in most categories, including kills, assists and digs.
Individually, Madison Chimienti, who continues to sit in U-Sports’ top 35 in kills per set, led the way with a game-leading 13 kills in addition to three blocks. Aleiah Torres (third in the country in digs per set) and Sarah Rohr (fifth in the country in assists per set) continued their huge body of work, putting up 11 digs and 32 assists, respectively.
Before taking the court against the Gaels again on Saturday in their final home game of the regular season, the Badgers honoured their two graduating senior players, Grace Pyatt and Christina Jovetic.
A home-grown talent from Thorold, Pyatt, Applied Gerontology major and Middle has been with the program since 2017-18. In her time with Brock, Pyatt has racked up 487 kills on 0.308 hitting percentage.
Also a Niagara Region local and Middle, Jovetic has been with Brock since 2018-19 where she has 244 kills on a 0.287 hitting percentage.
Though Queen’s jumped out to an early 3-0 first-set lead, that was pretty much the most fight we would see from them on Saturday evening.
The Badgers struggled at the net, committing six errors to only nine kills, but it didn’t really matter. The Gaels were unable to capitalize on any of Brock’s mistakes and, in fact, were much worse, committing 12 errors to 11 kills. Despite a pitiful -0.026 hitting percentage leading to a 25-20 first set loss, this was as close as the Gaels would get.
In fact, building on their poor performance, the Gaels doubled down, posting nine errors and a -0.139 hitting percentage. Though the score was close at times, the Badgers pulled away late, rinsing the Gales 25-16 in the second set.
In the third set, Queen’s posted a positive hitting percentage for the first time in the match, but it was too little too late, losing 25-19 to fall in straight sets to the Badgers.
Brock held considerable leads in every team statistic, and were particularly impressive when it came to service with seven aces. Jovetic had two aces of her own, in addition to seven blocks and an assist. Fellow senior Pyatt had nine kills and five blocks.
Sadie Dick, 24th in all of U-Sports in kills-per-set, had a game-high ten kills to go along with six blocks. Of course, it goes without saying, Rohr and Torres led the game in assists and digs.
With back-to-back straight-set victories, including one on Saturday’s Seniors Night, Brock moved one game ahead of Western University for the top slot in the OUA. The Badgers’ 16-2 record also leaves them tied for third in the country and the best team outside of western Canada. Their infinitesimal 12 points against is also the fewest in the entire country.
Next Saturday and Sunday, the Badgers wrap-up their regular season against second-last-place Trent University and further lock-in their top seed and home-court advantage going into the playoffs. For the team’s full-schedule and results, find them on gobadgers.ca.