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Reds top Tigers 3-0

Photo courtesy of James West
Photo courtesy of James West

Source: Andy Campbell, UNB Athletics

(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Reds earned their first win of the 2019-20 RSEQ men's volleyball season, beating the Dalhousie Tigers in straight sets.

The Reds won 25-22, 25-22 and 25-10.

"It feels great," said Reds outside hitter Connor McConnell (Hanwell, NB). "We're always expecting to win, but the big focus was on our compete factor and I think we did pretty well tonight."

The Reds raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, forcing the visitors to call an early time-out.

The break worked, and the Tigers rallied with three straight points to close the gap.

Back and forth play saw the teams tied 12-12 before the Reds pushed out to a 14-12 lead.

At the technical time out of the first set, the Reds held a slim 16-14 advantage.

The back and forth nature of the set continued after the break, but the Reds were able to maintain their lead and won the set 25-22.

In the second set, the Reds rolled out to an 8-2 lead before the Tigers could rally.

But the Reds wouldn't allow the visitors to gain any foothold, countering almost every point the Tigers scored.

At the technical time-out, UNB was up 16-11, but the Tigers rallied again.

They forced the Reds to call time-out twice, the second time while holding on to a 24-22 lead.

A McConnell kill punctuated UNB's 25-22 win to take a 2-0 lead.

"We let them come into the game a couple of times where we should've pulled off, but they were pretty good games," said McConnell.

In the third set, the Reds again pulled out to a big lead early.

Down 10-3, the Tigers called time-out.

Strong blocking by first-year Red Thomas Vickers (Bible Hill, NS) allowed UNB to push the lead to 14-4.

At the technical time out, the Reds led 16-6.

A couple more McConnell kills were featured as UNB scored the final three points of the match to win the set 25-10, and take the match 3-0.

"We're figuring a lot of things out, obviously," said Tigers outside hitter and captain Graham Schmuland (Calgary, AB). "We've been plagued by a lot of injuries to begin with, so there are a lot of gaps and that was pretty evident tonight."

Quinton Dowling (Waterloo, ON) led the Tigers with 22 assists, while Malachy Shannon (Halifax, NS) recorded six kills.

Brad Merryweather (New Maryland, NB) had a match-high 23 serve assists for UNB.

McConnell finished with 14 kills and Vickers with 11 digs, both match bests.

The Reds, now 1-and-2, and the Tigers, now 0-and-3, meet again Saturday. Game time is 2:30pm, at UNB's Richard J. Currie Center.