Game recap by Kirk Jessome
(Halifax, NS) – In a matchup between the conference's top two teams, the Dalhousie Tigers hosted the Saint Mary's Huskies at the Dalplex on Friday. The Huskies didn't make it easy, but Tigers were able to take a straight-set victory in a hard-fought 3-0 win.
The Huskies got off to a great start with some tough serving by Bethany Smith (Moncton, NB) who picked up an ace and a kill during her time at the service line to help her team to 5-straight points.
The Tigers were able to swing the momentum in their favour thanks to their defensive intensity. Victoria Turcot (Halifax, NS) was a presence at the net on both sides of play, sandwiching a block between two kills on three-straight plays to take over the lead at 16-12 at the technical break.
A string of attacking errors from the Tigers allowed the Huskies to jump right back into the set, but after a quick timeout from the Tigers, Victoria Haworth (Waverly, NS) dropped in a service ace and a kill to lead the Tigers to a 25-19 win in the opening set.
Getting off to another strong start in the set, Bethany Smith was once again leading the way for the Huskies with an ace, and another serve that forced an attacking error from the Tigers to once again get out to a lead.
Slowly chipping away at the deficit, Turcot was taking over the attack for the Tigers, but the Huskies held the advantage at 16-13 going into the technical timeout.
Both teams battled in the second half of the set, with the lead switching sides nearly every second play, but after an error from the Huskies and a big kill from Julie Moore (Halifax, NS), the Tigers were able to take a hard-fought 25-23 win in the second set to take a commanding 2-0 lead.
The third set was full of runs from both teams, with Sarah Dawe (Mount Pearl, NL) getting the Tigers started with a lead before Bethany Smith once again was the driving force for the Huskies offense.
The teams fought back and forth with great defensive battles on both sides, with Renee Cleveland (Saint-Martin, NS) and Catherine Callaghan (Halifax, NS) playing outstanding at the libero position.
At the technical timeout, the Tigers were able to take a 16-14 advantage on a Sarah Dawe service ace.
Coming out of the break, the Tigers continued a big run, that proved to be the deciding factor in the set, with a string of errors costing the Huskies.
Cleveland continued to make outstanding digs to keep her team alive in the final points of the set, but with a kill from Turcot, and a tip-kill from Julie Moore, the Tigers were able to seal the 25-21 win in the set and take a 3-0 victory in the match.
Bethany Smith led the Huskies attack with 7 kills and 2 blocks, while Renee Cleveland picked up 17 digs in a great performance. For the Tigers, Julie Moore finished with 14 kills to lead the game, while Courtney Baker dished out 31 assists to help spread the attack.
The Tigers will play their final road game of the regular season on Sunday at Acadia before hosting the Axewomen for the season finale on the 15th. The Huskies will have a quick turnaround as they host Moncton tomorrow.