It’s difficult to find ways to improve on a season like the one the 2016-17 women’s volleyball team put together last year, but the Tigers are on pace to do just that. After finishing the regular season with an identical 19-1 record, the Tigers look to repeat history and claim their sixth-consecutive AUS banner.
Even though they finished with the same record as their previous season, the Tigers have been even more dominant in the AUS conference this year. The Tigers have only been on the losing end of 10 sets in their 20 conference games on the season, which is tied for fewest in the country.
One of the biggest differences this season is the outstanding offensive talent of first-year outside hitter Julie Moore. Despite playing the fewest sets of any team in the conference, Moore has collected more than 20 kills than any other hitter in the AUS. Her performance has also put her at number seven in the country in kills per set.
Another young talent that was added to the Tigers this season is libero Catherine Callaghan. She had some big shoes to fill this season with Marisa Mota finishing in the top three in the country in digs and digs per set last year, but Callaghan has stepped up in a big way by finishing fourth in digs per set in just her first season.
Switching positions from hitter to setter this season and turning defence into offence for the Tigers is Courtney Baker, and the team has reaped the benefits. Baker finished fourth in the nation in assists per set with most of those going to either Moore or Mieke DuMont.
Only dropping one set in their first eight matches, their one loss on the season came in their final game before the Christmas break. The Tigers regrouped with an exhibition tournament in Alberta before moving on to win every game of the second half.
Their standout performance on both offence and defence has put the Tigers among the top teams in the country once again, going into the championship season ranked at number five.
The Tigers will ride an 11-game win streak into the AUS championship where they are the top seed in the conference. The Tigers will take on the host Memorial Sea-Hawks on Friday, March 2nd in the AUS semifinal.