National Finalists

April 10th, 2011

VIU brought home the silver medal from the 2011 CCAA Women's Volleyball National Championships in New Brunswick.

After a dramatic 3-2 win  over BC rivals and former national champs UBC Heat in the semi-finals  , VIU faced Mount Royal University in the finals and  had the national championship won for a few moments before the call was reversed.

Cheyla Read and Lindsay McLoughlin were named to the tournaments 1st All-Star team and Danni Smith was on the second team.


Here is a summary of the game ..

The gold medal match pits the Vancouver Island Mariners, ranked 4th at the start of the tournament, against the Mount Royal Cougars, ranked 3rd. Both teams are evidently nervous at the start of the match, which explains the numerous service mistakes and miscommunication errors in the back.

The tempo of the match gradually increases, and star players Andrea Price of the Cougars and Lindsay Mcloughlin of the Mariners trade powerful kills at the net. Neither of the two teams is able to keep a lead larger than one point. It is very probable that this match goes to the limit of five sets, if these two teams keep playing at the same high level throughout the game.

Setters Dani Smith and Mackenzie Allen continue to offer their hitters high quality sets, who take advantage of most balls, but the defence of both teams is ready. Coach Sandra Lamb calls a timeout at 21-19 for VIU, and this seems to motivate her team, who recovers the serve immediately.

A powerful kill from Mcloughlin gives a 23-21 lead to the Mariners, 24-22 once Breanna Estabrook misses a crucial serve. Brianna Fehr, replacing Allen, does nice work as setter, but a block from Jacqueline Doleman ends the set at 25-23. VIU leads the match 1-0.

Mount Royal will have to count on a clutch Andrea Price in this second set if it hopes to come back in the match. Price, who was very quiet in the first set, does not seem to have quite figured out the huge Mariner block in front of her yet. The Cougars continue to make errors at the net, and VIU takes advantage of this, taking a 9-4 lead. The Cougars don’t give up, and reduce VIU’s lead to one point.

Fehr comes back in the game, and keeps up with the good work she accomplished in the first set. A solid kill from Price gives a 14-11 lead to the Cougars, and Hyde calls a timeout. VIU scores three straight points, including two aces from Cheyla Reader. Both teams refuse to give up easy points to their adversaries, and the Cougars lead 21-19 towards the end of the set.

At 23-19, Hyde uses his second timeout, but Mount Royal has no intentions of letting them back into the match, and wins the second set 25-20. The match is now tied 1-1. Four monster serves in a row from Shenise Power set the tone for the third set, and give a 9-6 lead to the Mariners. At 12-7, Lamb calls a timeout to motivate her team, and give instructions to Allen, who just came back on the court as starting setter.

A 9-point deficit forces Lamb to make numerous changes to her line-up, including taking out all-star Price. Two quick kills from Kaitie Whiteley from the middle give a 21-12 lead to the Mariners, which they take to the bank and win the set 25-16. VIU now leads the match 2-1.

The fourth set is a very tight affair, and both teams simply trade points one at a time for a little while. After a controversial call from the referee at 13-12, Hyde calls a timeout to regroup his team. VIU now is trailing by two points against a team who must absolutely win this set to stay in the match. VIU responds with three straight points, and leads 15-14.

Once again, the serving prowess of Shenise Power gives a lot of trouble to the cougars, and Lamb decides to go back to Fehr as setter. The Cougars make a comeback, and are now only losing by one after a kill by Julia Pasieka. Price keeps her team in the match with a few powerful kills, but the Mariners still lead 21-19. A crazy moment at the end of the match, when VIU thinks they have won it all, only to have the line judge’s call overruled by the head referee. Mount Royal rides the momentum of this point to a 26-24 set win, and we are going to a fifth and deciding set.

The Cougars start the fifth set on fire, with three consecutive blocs and a 5-2 lead. Shane Hyde calls a time out, as his team must come back immediately in this shortened set. When the teams switch ends, the score is 8-4 for the Cougars. VIU is having difficulty on the defensive end, and are giving too many free balls to the opposing team.

At 12-7, Hyde takes his second timeout, because the Cougars are only two points away from gold. VIU does not give up, and Lamb must take a time out leading 13-10. A missed serve from Sandra Veikle gives match point to the Cougars, who convert with a big block.

Player of the game for the Mariners is Lindsay Mcloughlin, with 18 kills, 11 digs and 5 blocks. For the Cougars, that honour goes to Diyon Van Nistelrooy, with 2 kills, and 10 blocks.