By Rylie Dobson
This week’s Flashback Friday features the 2013-14 women’s volleyball team.
Back row (L-R): Marlee Powers, Jessica Josenhans, Maggie Li, Tara Gowan, Anna Dunn-Suen, Amy Appleby.
Middle row (L-R): Mikayla Kuan Veng (Trainer), Rebecca Evans (Trainer), Abby Czenze, Katherine Ryan, Desiree Nouwen, Elizabeth Wright, Rick Scott (Head Coach), Jessica Day (Trainer).
Front row (L-R): Marisa Mota, Petra Rafuse, Raeesa Lalani, Rachel Wright, Brett Hastings, Julie Theisen.
Missing from photo: Jon Elliot (Assistant Coach), Patrick Murray (Assistant Coach), Kris Andrews (Strength & Conditioning), Devon Norris (Strength & Conditioning).
The 2013-14 women’s volleyball team’s first half started off on a rocky note. After winning their home opener against Acadia, they faced a 3-2 loss to Saint Mary’s. The squad responded by rattling off three straight wins without dropping a set. Shortly after, at their first AUS-RSEQ Interlock in Sherbrooke, they lost three games in a row and finished the first half with a 5-4 record. In December, the Tigers travelled across the country to British Colombia to play UBC and Trinity Western, which ended in losses but served as a great learning experience for the second half of the season.
In January, the Tigers hit their stride. They posted a perfect 7-0 record in January and February, dropping just one set in that time-period. Finishing with a 12-4 record, the group placed first in the AUS and began playoffs on their home court.
In the first round of playoffs, the Tigers were matched up with Moncton in the semifinal. Still hot off their second half winning-streak, they eliminated the fourth-seeded Moncton in straight sets. They faced Saint Mary’s in the AUS final, where they won 3-0 and claimed their second consecutive AUS title.
Entering the CIS championship in Regina, Sask. as the sixth-seeded team in the country, the Tigers shocked the third-ranked Trinity Western team with a 3-1 victory in the first round. Desiree Nouwen led the game with 15 kills. In the semifinal, the Tigers faced the number two seeded Manitoba team. This was the first time that an AUS team had made it to the CIS semifinal since 1984. The Tigers dropped the semifinal 3-1 to Manitoba but had another chance to medal in the bronze medal game against Laval. The Tigers won the first set but lost the next three and were eliminated from nationals, finishing in fourth place.
Desiree Nouwen was named to the CIS championship all-star team and was an AUS first team all-star, while Katherine Ryan was awarded the R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award. Maggie Li was named the AUS MVP as well as a CIS first team all-star, while Tara Gowan was named an AUS second team all-star.