Women’s Volleyball shine through the first two OUA playoffs games 

Photo by: Charlie Martin

Between the end of February and the beginning of March, the Badgers women’s volleyball team had an eventful week.

After securing the top spot in the OUA off of the strength of an 18-2 record and a seven-game win streak, the Badgers kicked off their playoff season on Feb. 25. At home in Bob Davis Gymnasium for the quarter final match against the eighth-ranked Windsor Lancers – the Badgers looked to get their postseason started on the right note.

True to form, Brock scorched out to a quick 10-2 first-set lead thanks to some excellent hitting at the net. The Lancers pushed back to make things a little bit more respectable, but were unable to overcome Brock’s huge early lead. The Badgers claimed a comfortable first set, 25-15.

The Lancers had some more battle to start the third set, but weren’t able to maintain that energy for long. Brock’s net presence continued to be dominant, posting 14 kills on only two errors. Pulling away late, Brock also took the second set, 25-16.

Windsor was able to fix many of their issues in the final set. Previously, the Lancers had struggled mightily at the net, and in the third set, they posted their highest kill total, their fewest errors, and, for the first time in the game, a hitting percentage above 0.150.

Nevertheless, Brock, who had been strong in those areas all evening, continued to shine. Brock dealt with Windsor, once again handily, taking the final set 25-17 and securing a spot in the OUA Semi Finals.

Brock’s play at the net was the biggest difference, scoring 38 kills on only six errors, contributing to a healthy 0.478 hitting percentage. Outside hitter Laurin Ainsworth, Sadie Dick and Madison Chimienti lead the way, each putting up a game-high eight kills. Setter Sara Rohr had another exceptional 31 assist night, while Aleiah Torres added eight digs, double that of Windsor’s leader.

One week later, on Saturday, March 4, the Badgers were back in action again for their Semi Final match with a chance to get another shot at the Quigley Cup.

Their competition was the York Lions, the fifth place team in the OUA who’d upset McMaster a week earlier. York, of course, was hoping to continue their Cinderella story and knock off the defending champs at home.

The Badgers got to work from the hop, while York seemed to need a little time to get warmed up.

Brock quickly established a 13-4 lead, capitalizing a number of York errors and generating plenty of points themselves. While Brock had a 12:2 kill to error ratio on 0.400 hitting, York nearly matched their number of kills with their number of errors, losing the set 25-16.

By set two however, York seemed to be adequately warmed-up. Cleaning up their act at the net, York stole six of the set’s first eight points to give them an early edge. Though Brock would claw back to close the gap, York was able to maintain their edge and, on a final service ace, took the second set 27-25.

Now looking a lot more like a semi-final match, both sides were locked at 10. Pulling ahead by a couple — thanks to a serving streak from Madison Tuck — the Badgers scored eight of the set’s last nine points to secure a 25-16 win.

Not willing to let their season die without a fight, York stormed ahead 10-5 in the fourth with Jessica Reynolds and Olivia Kim doing a lot of the heavy lifting. The Badgers kept chipping away, but the Lions held their slight lead until they were tied at 17. York couldn’t separate themselves from the Badgers by more than a point after that. 

Finally wearing them down, the Badgers collected five-straight points to go up 24-20. On a Sara Rohr kill, the Badgers defeated the Lions 25-21 and advanced to the Quigley Cup.

Saturday’s win was a total team effort. Every Badger hit above 0.100 and a number of them filled the stat card.

Sadie Dick was phenomenal with 17 kills and four blocks. Chimienti was also incredibly impressive, posting 13 kills, four assists and 11 digs. Grace Pyatt and Emily Foest also added 11 and eight kills, respectively, in addition to six digs and nine digs, respectively.

As I am sure comes as a surprise to absolutely no one, Sara Rohr led the game with an absurd 52 assists while Aleiah Torres once again led the game with 18 digs.

Brock moves on to the U-Sports Quigley Cup for the third season where they will face the Queen’s Gaels. Being the top seed in the OUA, Brock will have the championship match at Bob Davis Gymnasium on Saturday, Mar. 11. For more information, please go to the women’s volleyball page on GoBadgers.ca.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *