Source: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
(FREDERICTON, NB) In a back-and-forth AUS/RSEQ interlock match that saw both teams hold four match point opportunities, the Laval Rouge et Or beat the Dalhousie Tigers 3-1.
Laval won with scores of 23-25, 25-22, 27-25 and 31-29.
After falling behind 5-1 early in the first set, Tigers head coach Dan Ota called time-out.
Whatever he said worked, and Dal was relentless in its comeback.
The Tigers clawed back, taking their first lead at 19-18 before an eventual 25-23 victory.
The see-saw nature of the match continued in the second, before Laval went on a 3-0 run to establish an early 9-6 lead. The Rouge et Or went on another run, late in the second, building a 21-18 lead before taking the set 25-22.
The U SPORTS 8th ranked Rouge et Or took an entertaining third set 27-25 to go up 2-1.
In the fourth, Dal went on a 4-0 run after trailing at the technical time-out, building a 19-16 lead. But Laval fought back, tying the set 19-19.
The two sides were also tied at 20, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 before two key serves by Nicholas Tremblay(Quebec City, QC) and the winning kill by Vicente Ignacio Parraguirre Villalobos(Santiago, CHI) gave Laval the 31-29 set win and the 3-1 victory.
"It was one of the closest games we've played this season," said Laval's Hugo Leger(Montreal, QC). He was named the Subway Player of the Match for the Rouge et Or.
"It's all about the drive we need to stay consistent. If we make the point and we don't let off, that's when we're good," he said.
Villalobos led the Rouge et Or with a match-high 22 kills, while Benjamin Couturier(Quebec City, QC) had a match-high 20 digs.
"We have to drive the game and make the points," said Leger. "If we're waiting for them to make mistakes, that's not our game."
Matthew Donovan(London, ON) led the Tigers with 20 kills. He was named the Subway Player of the Match for Dal.
Graham Schmuland(Calgary, AB) had 13 digs for the Tigers.
"You're always disappointed when you lose, but I'm proud of the way we battled in the last set, we didn't make it easy on them," said Donovan. "There were a couple of points here and there that I regret and a couple of the guys regret, but we showed fight and I'm proud of that."
Like Leger, Donovan enjoyed the close match.
"It was back and forth the whole time, not too many huge runs. It was a difference of about two points, throughout the whole game, really."
The Tigers conclude their interlock weekend when they face l'Universite de Montreal Carabins in a match scheduled to start at 6:00pm.
The Rouge et Or are back in action against the host UNB Varsity Reds. That match is scheduled to start at 7:30pm.