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Tigers drop season opener 3-0 to Carabins

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In the much anticipated season opener for the Dalhousie Tigers men's volleyball team, they hosted the Université de Montreal Carabins in their first game as part of the RSEQ conference. The opener was spoiled however as Montreal took a 3-0 win to open the season.

The teams traded points early, with Montreal getting contributions on both offense and defense from Mathieu Lassonde (Montreal, QC) picking up a few kills along with a big block.

The Tigers had a great show of defensive play early with Malachy Shannon (Halifax, NS) and Harrison Callaghan (Halifax, NS) had a few impressive digs that led to Tigers points, highlighted by a huge kill from Jeffrey Walton (Sudbury, ON).

The teams continued to battle before the technical break, trading points and leads before the block by Matthew Woods (Halifax, NS) gave the Tigers a 16-15 advantage at the timeout.

The Carabins were able to open up a small lead coming out of the timeout led by attacks from Sebastien Lapensee (Gatineau, QC), picking up three big kills toward the end of the set.

The Carabins were able to hold on to that advantage and took a 25-20 win in the first set, closing it out with a hard kill from Olivier Riopel (Gatineau, QC).

Montreal continued to give the Tigers trouble with their service game to open the second set with Riopel and Lassonde both picking up service aces and forcing the Tigers into errors early.

The Tigers were able to counter however with some big kills from Kobe Shannon (Halfiax, NS) to keep them close in the set as the teams traded points.

The Tigers had a string of attacks that went long just before the technical break, leading to a 16-10 advantage for Montreal at the timeout.

Errors were evident on both sides after the break, but the lead continued to grow for the Carabins as the Tigers were forced to call a timeout after finding themselves down 21-14.

Ethan Boyd (Summerside, PEI) checked into the game, and picked up his first career kill on the next play for the Tigers, but the Carabins took the 25-17 win in the set after a service error from the Tigers. That gave Montreal a 2-0 lead in the match.

The Tigers came out with energy to start the third set, and it resulted in a 9-5 lead for them with Jeffrey Walton picking up kills after Callaghan had a few great digs to save the point.

There were some fantastic rallies in the next few plays, but the Carabins wound up on the winning side of most of them with Olivier Riopel picking up back to back kills to help his team take over the lead in the set.

The Carabins continued to stretch the lead heading into the break with Youssef Baati (Montreal, QC) hammering home another kill to send his team into the technical timeout leading 16-10.

Kobe Shannon picked up some final kills for the Tigers, but the Carabins lead was too much to come back from as they closed out the set, and came away with the 3-0 victory in the match.

Shannon led the Tigers with 9 kills in the match, while Sabastien Lapensee finished with a game-high 12 kills to go along with 11 digs to earn him the Subway Player of the Game. 

The two teams will face off again tomorrow afternoon, with the first serve coming at 2:30pm.