Game recap by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In the final doubleheader for the first half of the season, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the Université de Sherbrooke Vert et Or in volleyball action on Friday. It took a three-set comeback for the Vert et Or, but they were able to secure the 3-2 win in the first match.
Defence was key to start the match for the Vert et Or, as their presence at the net was frustrating for the Tigers hitters, with Jean-Philippe Talbot (Granby, QC) sending back three blocks in the opening points.
Coming out of a well-timed timeout, the Tigers offense exploded in the back half of the set. With kills from Andrew Arseneau (Dartmouth, NS) and Ethan Boyd (Summerside, PEI) the Tigers led at the technical break at 16-14.
The Tigers defence took over in the late points in the set, with timely blocks coming from setter Quinton Dowling (Waterloo, ON), and combined blocks from Evan West (Ilderton, ON) and Graham Schmuland (Calgary, AB) as the Tigers were able to close out the first set at 25-17.
The Vert et Or started the second set swinging hard, with Antoine Trepanier (Gatineau, QC) and Talbot went back and forth with kills to pull ahead in the set
Battling back in the set, Schmuland hammered home three kills to keep the set close, but the Vert et Or held a 16-15 lead at the technical break.
The Tigers were strong once again in the back half of the set, with Arseneau's serving gave the Vert et Or trouble and forced errors and gave the Tigers the late lead. With two final swings from Boyd, the Tigers were able to take the win in the second set at 25-19 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
Once again starting the set with energy, the Vert et Or defence forced the Tigers hitters into errors to push Sherbrooke to a quick 6-1 lead.
The Vert et Or continued to swing well in the early points of the set, with kills from Raphael Viens (Saint-Alphonse-de-Granby, QC) and Mark Messier (Laval, QC) to give them a 16-9 lead at the technical timeout.
The teams traded points coming out of the break, but the Vert et Or continued to force the Tigers into errors, and with two kills and a block from Messier got the Vert et Or on the board with a 25-18 win in the third set.
Continuing to trade kills in the fourth set, Messier once again took over to lead the Vert et Or to a lead at the technical break with three kills and two blocks for a 16-10 advantage.
The Vert et Or presence at the net continued to put pressure on the Tigers hitters and forced errors, and with back to back kills from Viens and Messier, Sherbrooke was able to force a fifth and final set with a 25-17 win in the fourth.
Both teams made short runs to start the final set, with errors continuing to be the story for the Tigers hitters, but Ethan Boyd put together a string of service aces to bring his team back in it.
With a tight score late in the set, the Tigers committed three errors in a row for the Vert et Or to take a commanding 14-10 lead before a final kill from Messier sealed the comeback victory at 15-12.
The two teams will be back in action for a rematch tomorrow at 1:00 at the Dalplex.