The Dalhousie University women’s volleyball team began the year with a fresh look and a new coach. The Tigers had four players returning from last year’s team and had eight first year players in the line-up under first year head coach Rick Scott.
The Tigers had an excellent first half of the season showing great improvement and an exciting brand of volleyball. The team completed the first half of the season with a league record of five wins and six losses and had an impressive first win, two loss record versus Atlantic University Sport competition. In the five wins the team had three five set victories over StFX, Cape Breton, and Saint Mary’s. These marathon victories demonstrated the team’s great competitiveness and the ability to win the tough matches. The highlight of the first half was the Tiger’s five set home win over Saint Mary’s – the first victory over the city rival in three years.
Some individual highlights of the first half were second year setter Robyn West and first year left side hitter Lauren Schinkel being recognized as Dalhousie University Athletes of the Week for their outstanding performances in Tigers’ victories.
The second half of the season begun with much optimism as the team was prepared for the playoff push. The Tigers battled some injuries and inconsistent play and suffered a few heart-breaking losses in their second half. The team dropped key matches to Cape Breton, Memorial, and StFX down the stretch, which resulted in the team just missing the AUS playoffs.
Although the team was very disappointed by missing the playoffs, the black and gold turned several heads around the league. The Tigers proved to be a team that is on the rise and has a bright future ahead. The displayed that they are a team that is full of great leaders and solid, young talent. With a competitive trait of never giving up, this Tiger team played with great passion and battled until the end.
There were some excellent performances by several players this season. First year libero, Lauren Smith was named to the AUS All-Rookie team and was selected as a Second team AUS All-Star. Lauren passed an impressive 22 average for the year and led the Tigers in digs with 222 digs and a 3.26 digs/game average which ranked her in the Top 20 in the conference. Fourth year middle Maggie Morrison led the team in blocking with 74 blocks, earning her second spot overall in AUS blocking and she was second on the team with 152 kills. Another first year Tiger, Lauren Schinkel, led the team in kills with 207 (5th overall in AUS) and points with 246.5 (6th overall in the AUS). Schinkel recorded an impressive 23 kills in a regular season victory over Cape Breton.
The Tigers have much to look forward to next season and the future with many key players returning and such a strong core of young players. The Tigers will be a team to watch next season and will continue the proud Dalhousie Tigers women’s volleyball tradition.