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Tigers drop five set thriller to Montreal

Photo by Trevor MacMillan
Photo by Trevor MacMillan

Game recap by: Kirk Jessome

(Halifax, NS) – In the second game of a back to back, the Dalhousie Tigers once again hosted the Montreal Carabins Saturday afternoon at the Dalplex. It was a marathon match that required extra points in a fifth set, but Montreal was able to come away with the 3-2 win.

The teams traded points early, till the Carabins put together a string of seven points in a row capped off by a big kill from Gabriel Chancy (Montreal, QC) and one from Youssef Baati (Montreal, QC) forcing the Tigers to call a timeout

Graham Schmuland (Calgary, AB) was able to help the Tigers stop the run with a big kill of his own, but Olivier Riopel (Gatineau, QC) came back with one on the next point to give Montreal the 16-10 lead at the technical break.

It was a tough few plays out of the technical timeout with attacks going long, resulting in a commanding lead for the Carabins, and another hard kill from Baati saw his team take the win in the first set at 25-18.

The Tigers opened the second with new life, led by some great defensive play at the net from Schmuland with two blocks, and he followed that up with a kill as well to jump out to a quick 8-3 lead.

A hard kill from the rookie Ethan Boyd (Summerside, PEI) sent the Tigers into the technical break leading 16-12.

The Carabins fought back out of the break to within one with Julien Boileau (Montreal, QC) picking up back to back kills.  But a string of late attacking errors in row allowed the Tigers to close out the set at 25-21, and tie the match up at one set apiece.

Both sides traded points through the first half of the third set, with multiple attackers getting in on the action for Montreal, while Kobe Shannon (Halifax, NS) carried most of the load early for the Tigers.

The Carabins put together a small run as they got close to the technical break, with Riopel collecting back to back kills, but the Tigers fought to keep it close with Kobe Shannon hammering home a few more kills of his own.

Malachy Shannon (Halifax, NS) had a great string of serves as the Tigers put three points in a row together to tie it up, but Kobe Shannon sent his attack long on the fourth and the Carabins took a 16-15 advantage into the technical timeout.

The teams continued to trade points and leads late in the set, with Baati getting it done for the Carabins, while Kobe Shannon picked up kills for the Tigers, with Schmuland hammering one home to force Montreal to take a timeout, down 24-23.

Coming out of the break, a great serve from Malachy Shannon set up a tough hit from Baati that sailed long, and the Tigers were able to secure the 25-23 win in the set and take a 2-1 lead.

The Tigers once again got off to a good start in the set with Schmuland sending home a kill, and followed it up with two service aces in a row for three straight points and a 9-5 lead early.

Montreal went on a run of their own after those points with Riopel stopping the run with a kill, and Mathieu Lassonde (Montreal, QC) with two blocks in a row to help give his team their first lead in the set at 10-9.

The Carabins put together 10 points in a row following the timeout they called, with the Tigers scoring just one point before Riopel and Lassonde sent the teams into the technical break with Montreal up 16-10.

The run continued after the timeout as Tigers errors piled up and the Carabins were able to force a fifth set after getting the 25-14 win in the fourth.

The teams traded points early in the final set, with Baati hammering home two kills, while Jeffrey Walton (Sudbury, ON) and Malachy Shannon picked up some big kills for the Tigers and took an 8-7 lead at the technical break.

The Carabins were able to string points together, colleting two to the Tigers one, giving them a 13-9 lead off of a block from Lassonde.

The Tigers fought to keep themselves in it however with two blocks coming from Schmuland and rookie Ethan Boyd with a massive kill to make it 13-12.

The teams needed extra points to decide the match, and back to back blocks from Alexandre Lafontaine (Lasalle, QC) gave the Carabins the 17-15 win in the final set, and 3-2 victory in the match.

The Tigers will be back on the court next Friday when they take on UNB in back to back games while Montreal will host Laval next Friday.