National Bronze for Women's Volleyball

March 9th, 2014

Read more in the Nanaimo Daily News

 

The Bronze medal match of the 2014 CCAA Women’s Volleyball Championship featured an exciting matchup with the top-seeded Élans Garneau versus the #2 seeded Vancouver Island Mariners.
 
Both teams had aspirations of meeting in the Gold Medal match, but alas, they found themselves on opposite sides of the net vying for a medal of a different colour.
 
Nonetheless, the product on the court that the fans got to bare witness to was nothing short of Gold Medal calibre.
 
Garneau claimed the first set by a score 25-21, thanks in part to some very key defensive stops. It was evident from early on that this match was going to be decided in a similar manner due to the firepower that both teams were bringing to court. Five players had accumulated 4 kills or better through the opening set.
 
The second set was extremely close as it was dictated once again by both offences’ scoring efficiently. It was neck and neck until the last half dozen points as a couple of ball contact violations were called by the official against VIU.  Garneau took the second set by the same score as the first.
 
VIU battled hard and seemed to find another gear as they took the third set by a score of 25-22 and headed into the 4th looking to even the match at two sets apiece.
 
The Mariners did just that as their momentum carried over and picked up steam. Setter Ashley Cousens ran a very effective offense and her attackers scored at will, rarely having to deal with double blocks on the outside.
 
The table was set for an intense fifth set. It went point-for-point up until the score struck 9-9 and a call was overturned by the head official after consulting with a linesmen, making it 10-8 in favour of VIU. The Mariners didn't look back and completed the unbelievable comeback, winning the match and the National Bronze medal in 5 sets: (21-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 15-12)
 
Leanna Gildersleeve tallied 15 kills and 19 points overall in the contest while teammate Alyssa Wolf accumulated 17 points herself. The Mariners middle tandem of Van Acken and Turnbull tallied 14 points and 15 points respectively in the win.
 
Marie-Pier Maheux earned 18 points for her team as Garneau's top scorer in the match.  Teammates Jade Fortin and Alice Cloutier tallied 14 and 13 points respectably.
 
Both defensive specialists were spectacular in the match. Libero's Megan Rosenlund (VIU) and Evy Carpentier-Lariviere (Garneau) exhibited top tier athleticism as they were able to make some incredible digs to keep the play alive for their respective teams.
 

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Leanna Gildersleeve, who led the M’s with 15 kills in that match, was a first-team all-star at nationals and Alyssa Wolf was selected a second-team all-star. Gildersleeve, Wolf and Tylar Turnbull earned player of the game distinctions and Gildersleeve and Ashley Van Acken were honoured as All-Canadians at a CCAA awards banquet last week.