Volleyball Martlets win opener, advance to semifinal at CIS championship
(PHOTO BY LINDSAY FRANCO, COURTESY McMASTER
ATHLETICS & RECREATION)
HAMILTON, Ont. -- Geneviève Plante and Kaiva Mateus, both native Montrealers, scored 15 points apiece to lead fifth-seeded McGill to a thrilling five-set win over the No.4-Saint Mary's Huskies in an opening day quarter-final of the CIS women's volleyball championship at McMaster University's Burridge Gym, Friday. The set scores were 26-24, 25-18, 20-25, 23-25 and 15-13.
Victoria Pelletier, a 5-foot-9 power-hitter from Westmount, Que., connected for the game-winning kill, converting a pass from libero Daphnee-Maude Andre-Morin of Kitchener, Ont. Her shot deflected off two SMU blockers at the net and landed just past the back line. It took a split second for the referee's ruling and when he signalled the winning point to McGill, the Martlets cleared their bench and it was total bedlam on the court.
McGill, which advances to the semifinals for the first time in school history, will look to make more history Saturday at 8 p.m. when they face top-seeded Alberta. The Bears knocked off hometown McMaster 3-1 in their quarterfinal. The Martlets, seeded fifth prior to the tourney following a loss in the RSEQ final, had placed sixth in their only previous CIS championship appearance, in 1997.
Championship web site: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/wvball/index
"We worked hard and really won as a team today," said Rachele Beliveau, who registered her 451st win in 21 seasons as head coach at McGill. "We started very well and had good ball control but faltered a bit on our serve receive. The we settled down, were really focussed and our depth off the bench played a key role.
"It's not going to be an easy game (in the semifinal) but I think that each team is beatable in this tournament and we have nothing to lose."
The fourth-seeded Huskies, crowned AUS champions this season, were also hoping to qualify for the national semis for the first time. They now have to settle for fifth place at best and will resume play on the consolation side of the draw Saturday at 3 p.m. against McMaster.
Plante, who was battling an illness, was named the player of the match for McGill collected 15 kills and a team-high 17 digs in a game that featured a combined total of 201 digs between both squads.
Mateus, a first-team all-Canadian middle blocker from Montreal West, also posted 10 kills.
Fifth-year senior Kerri Smit, a CIS all-star from Shubenacadie, N.S., registered a game-high 29 points, including 28 kills and an ace. She earned player of the match honours for Saint Mary's.
The entire game was a see-saw battle which saw both teams never go on a lengthy run or open up a lead larger than seven points (second set). For most of the match the teams were separated by less than two points.
Although the set scores were close, McGill won the first two and at times looked to be on their way to a three-set sweep. However, the Huskies dusted McGill in the next two games setting up a dramatic final set.
In the final frame, the game was tied eight times and featured four lead changes. The two teams were never separated by more than two points from each other. In the end - McGill outlasted the Huskies with a 15-13 finish, with Pelletier's decisive kill closing the debate.
Mateus, a psychology senior, indicated that the Martlets may have got caught up in the score as the reason for the loss in the third and fourth sets.
"I think we were getting a little over-excited and we stopped playing for each individual point and more looking at the score," Mateus said. In the fifth set we tried to regroup and once we calmed down a little bit we were able to refocus and pick it back up again.
"For us to be successful we're going to have to go with the same mentality - focus on each point and not the score."
Smit who was sporting a black eye and stitches following the game, was proud of her team despite the loss.
"We didn't come out as fast as we should have - but we came back being down two which I think shows character," said Smit. "I'm proud of my girls and the tournament is not over. We've still got a way to go; so we'll feel crappy about it now but we'll get over it.
The black eye was a result of a collision with a teammate in the fourth set. After a brief delay, both players remained in the game
Huskies' setter Jane Pegg of Weyburn, Sask., recorded 43 assists and 21 digs in the loss which were game highs in both categories
Marcela Mansure of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil led McGill in assists with 39.
MARTLET MURMURS: McGill had a sub-par 5-10 record in conference play but booked its ticket to Hamilton thanks to a shocking upset of last year's CIS finalists, the Laval Rouge et Or, in the best-of-three RSEQ semifinal series... McGill and Saint Mary's faced off twice earlier this year in non-conference action. Both games took place at McGill on the same day, Oct. 15, with the Huskies prevailing 3-2 and 3-0.
Kills: Geneviève Plante (15), Kaiva Mateus (10)
Points: Geneviève Plante (15), Kaiva Mateus (15)
Blocks: Marcela Mansure (2), Emily Kyte (2)
Digs: Geneviève Plante (17)
Service aces: Kaiva Mateus (2), Rebecca Canam (2)
Assists: Marcela Mansure (39)
Player of the match: Geneviève Plante
Kills: Kerri Smit (28)
Points: Kerri Smit (29), Amy Crider (17)Blocks: Tessa Felix (3.5)
Digs: Jane Pegg (21), Amy Crider (20)
Service aces: Amy Crider (2), Elizabeth Cosulich (2)
Assists: Jane Pegg (43)
Player of the match: Kerri Smit
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS
NOTE: Live webcast of all games on SSN Canada.
NOTE: Live broadcast of championship semifinals and Sunday games on Cable 14 (Hamilton).
Friday, March 2
13:00 Quarter-final #1: Montreal 3, Trinity Western 1 (25-22, 11-25, 25-21, 25-23)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: UBC 3, Queen's 0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-16)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: McGill 3, Saint Mary's 2 (26-24, 25-18, 20-25, 23-25, 15-13)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 1 Alberta vs. No. 8 McMaster
Saturday, March 3
13:00 Consolation #1: Trinity Western vs. Queen's
15:00 Consolation #2: Saint Mary's vs. Loser QF #4
18:00 Semifinal #1: Montreal vs. UBC
20:00 Semifinal #2: McGill vs. Winner QF #4
Sunday, March 4
11:00 5th place
13:00 Bronze medal
16:00 Championship final
About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-two universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca.
For more information contact:
Earl Zukerman, McGill (514) 398-7012
Cam Dunlop, McMaster (905) 741-8767
Michel Bélanger, CIS, Cell: (613) 447-6334
MCGILL at. SAINT MARY'S
@ Hamilton Ontario (Burridge Gymnasium)
3/2/2012 at 6:00pm
|In Progress - 5th||1||2||3||4||5||Score|
|-- Attack --||-- Serve --||-- Block --|
|2||Daphnée-Maude André-Morin *||5||0||0||0||.000||1||0||0||0||15||0||0||0||1||0.0|
|-- Attack --||-- Serve --||-- Block --|
* = Libero