By: Nathan Cooper
This week’s Flashback Friday features the 1991-92 women’s volleyball team.
Back Row (L-R): Shelley Tessier (Manager), Tara MacIntyre, Christine McCreery, Claudine Valle, Chris Frail, Marta Allen, April Delorme, Leslie Irie (Coach), Deanne Delvallet (Assistant coach)
Front Row (L-R): Casey Wilson, Vicki Hiltz, Kim Hilchey, Cher Goulet, Daria O’Reilly
A new season, a new coach, and new beginnings. The Dalhousie women’s volleyball team had undergone several changes heading into the 91-92 season. The previous coach Karen Moore had become Dalhousie’s Coordinator of Intercollegiate Athletics. Veteran player Deanne Delvallet was gone from the squad, but she did not travel far, as she became the team’s new assistant coach.
The 1991-92 Tigers had a strong core returning from their previous AUAA Championship team. The Tigers were always well known for their strength at the net, but there were improvements to be made. Coach Irie focused heavily on training for the back row, to improve the Tigers overall strength as a squad.
The Tigers opening game for the season was on November 6th, against the Huskies. The Tigers quickly asserted their dominance, winning the first set 15-5. The Tigers went on to win the next two sets comfortably, earning their first win of the season.
The Tigers were once again dominant, as they beat St. F.X in their second regular season game. The next destination was set for Sherbrooke to compete in the Sherbrooke Invitational. The team came out of the tournament with a 3-1 record.
Two weeks later, Dalhousie captured the Moncton Invitational by defeating Sherbrook 3-0 in the Championship final. April Delorme and Chris Frail were nominated as tournament all-stars.
By the time Christmas had come around, the Tigers were sitting on a 4-0 record, and of course the UdeM Invitational championship. The Tigers then started the new year on the right track, cruising through Saint Mary’s and Moncton to a 6-0 record.
The Dalhousie volleyball classic was the next tournament on the team’s schedule, and it proved to be one of their peak moments of the season. After taking three very tough losses in the opening game to Laval, the Tigers bounced back with consecutive wins against Moncton, Carleton and Sherbrooke. This set the team up to play a rematch against third ranked Laval in the Finals. The Tigers eventually lost against Laval in the fifth game. Tara MacIntyre and Kim Hilchey were chosen as tournament all-stars.
The Tigers took their experience from the tournament play and went on to finish the regular season on a very high note. Not only did they finish the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record, they remarkably won all 48 games played.
The next stop was the AUAA championship. Dalhousie easily passed through the Huskies and were set to play Moncton in the finals. The Aigles Bleues upset the Tigers in the first match, but the Tigers geared down and won the next three sets easily.
Defending their AUAA championship title was a great feat for the team, but they were now focused on the CIAU championship. Unfortunately, the Tigers were unable to record a victory at the tournament. In all three matches, Dalhousie fought hard and gained some great experience. This experience would lay the foundation for the following year’s team.
Dalhousie players, Christine Frail and April Delorme were named AUAA All-stars, while Tara MacIntyre was awarded AUAA MVP. Head coach, Leslie Irie was chosen as the AUAA Coach of the Year.