Laval sweeps Martlets in Quebec volleyball semifinal


Published: 7Feb2009

By Earl Zukerman

MONTREAL – Melanie Savoie and Marie-Christine Mondor combined for 44 points as visiting Laval defeated McGill 3-1 at Love Competition Hall on Friday, to sweep the best-of-three Quebec semifinal series 2-0.

In a match the took exactly two hours to play, the Rouge et Or won by set scores of 27-25, 23-25-25-16-25-20.

Senior Jen Thomson of Rosemere, Que., and Kelsey Irwin, a third-year middle blocker from Vancouver, B.C., paced the Martlets for the second straight contest with identical totals of 11 kills, five digs and a pair of stuff blocks. Thomson also led the team with a 2.50 passing ratio out of 3.0.

Freshman Kaiva Mateus, a 6-foot-1 middle blocker from Montreal, also reached double digits for McGill with 11 points, nine of them as kills, plus a pair of blocks in addition to four digs on defence.

Teammate Amélie Trottier-Picard, a sophomore setter from Longueuil, Que., had 25 assists and a team-high 15 digs.

“The closer we came to taking the lead, the more nervous we became and that’s what cost us this series,” said McGill head coach Rachèle Béliveau. “Nonetheless, we showed up to play with a very young team that played hard against a veteran team in Laval.”

The Martlets roster featured eight freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors and one senior.

“We played with intensity and lots of fight,” added Béliveau, who owns a 392-363-2 record as bench boss at McGill. “I’m proud of our effort and I think we have a bright future with everybody returning next year.”

Savoie had 21 kills and 15 digs, while Mondor, a 6-foot junior who sat out the fall semester to play the pro beach volleyball circuit, contributed 18 kills and 19 digs.

The Rouge et Or had a 65-41 margin in kills, a 7-0 margin in service aces and a demoralizing 97-61 difference in digs to snuff out numerous McGill counter-attacks.

Laval will play No.1-ranked Montreal (20-1) in the Quebec final but have also qualified for an automatic berth at the CIS championships in Fredericton.

MARTLET MURMURS: The Quebec University Volleyball League all-stars are expected to be announced on Feb. 12… Jen Thomson, a three-time All-Canadian power-hitter, improved her defensive game this season. She led the team in passing and ranked second among conference leaders in digs, with an average of 4.49 per set…The Martlets finished league play with a 13-8 third-place standing in the Quebec conference. Overall, they posted a 20-16 record… After a break to catch up on school work, the Martlets will resume practicing in preparation for the annual Coupe de Quebec senior provincial championships, slated to begin March 21… There is also an under-21 tourney scheduled for April 18-21 and as many as 13 of McGill’s 16 players are eligible to participate.

Short Box Score

(Feb 07, 2009 at McGill University’s Love Competition Hall)

Laval Rouge et Or def. McGill Martlets 3-1 (27-25,23-25,25-16,25-20)

Laval Rouge et Or (Kills-aces-blocks) –
Melanie Savoie 21-1-1; M.C. Mondor 18-2-2; Julie Rodrigue 14-0-4; Krystel Nadeau 6-2-0; Karine Ducharme 3-1-2; S Letourneau-Levesqu 2-0-0; G. Bourque-Tremblay 1-1-0;
Totals 65-7-7.5.

Assists) –
S Letourneau-Levesque 30.

Dig leaders) –
C. Marois-Julien 21; M.C. Mondor 19; S Letourneau-Levesque 16; Melanie Savoie 15; Julie Rodrigue 12; Krystel Nadeau 8

McGill Martlets (Kills-aces-blocks) –
Kelsey Irwin 11-0-2; Jennifer Thomson 11-0-2; Kaiva Mateus 9-0-2; Emily Kyte 4-0-2; Amy Graham 3-0-1; Alexandra Sheppard 2-0-0; Marcela Mansure 1-0-0;
Totals 41-0-9.0.

Assists) - A. Trottier-Picard 25. (Dig leaders) - A. Trottier-Picard 15; Sarah Howell 11; Amy Graham 10

Attend: 300
Time: 2h10
Referees: M. Trudel, S. Theriault

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