Ladies Advance to Finals – “We Really Want It”

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Saturday afternoon, the women’s Seawolves volleyball team set-off against the home side Mount Allison Mounties in Sackville, New Brunswick with hopes of securing their own Tantramar treasure – the 2014 ACAA Championship Title.

The semi-final game between the second seed Sackville side and the third seed Saint John side was to determine who would play on Sunday for the championship and a berth at the National Championship.

Immediately, Alison Stymiest, Katherine Houser and Clara Lucien were firing on all cylinders to begin the first set, forcing the Mounties to take an early timeout amid the rousing cheers of the Saint John fans who made the trip.

Not giving up on any ball, the Seawolves began to steal the set, extending their lead 19-12 before a second Mount Allison timeout.

With significant student-fan support, the Mounties trailed a comeback to make it 21-18, but a few crisp kills from France native Clara Lucien, snatched the momentum from the home side.

Playing in their final playoffs for the Seawolves, veterans Megan Fitzpatrick and Veronique Bastarache ignited the Seawolves with ecstatic spirit to win the first set 25-19.

The second set boded much differently for the Seawolves as the Mounties came out striking with newfound confidence.

Blazing out to an 18-8 lead, it seemed as though the Mounties would steal the set; they even substituted on their back-up setter in anticipation of winning.

In remarkable fashion, the Seawolves stuck to their game plan, playing with fiery fortitude to come back against their opponent 18-16.

Stymiest and Houser were perhaps having their best game of the season and as a team the Saint John side was clicking again like in the first set.

Houser, with an insane kill, edged the Seawolves closer to the Mounties to 21-19, but the Seawolves were unable to maintain their comeback intensity, losing the second set 25-20.

Even at a set a piece, the Seawolves revved-up their pressure to match the momentum the Mounties were riding on.

Mid-set, the score was only points apart until the Seawolves broke free from a 17-16 Mounties grip to score nine points to the Mountie’s four gained during that period time. The Seawolves quickly won the third set 25-21.

With only one more set needed to be won in order play in Sunday’s final, the UNB Saint John team swarmed a defiant Sackville side, who were desperate to win this set to extend their title hopes.

All of the Seawolves’ players on the court refused to give up on one ball, which led to a couple of timely Katherine Houser kills, forcing the Mounties to take another time out with the Seawolves leading 11-7.

The Mount Allison timeout only invigorated the Seawolves further to distance themselves from the Mounties with a seemingly insurmountable 17-7 lead.

A successful block by Seawolves second year student, Jazmine Campbell forced a second straight Mounties timeout with the score 18-7; with the Seawolves needing only seven more points to advance to the final match on Sunday afternoon.

A pair of Alison Stymiest kills near the end of the fourth set were enough to extend the lead beyond reach. With unwavering defensive pressure, the Seawolves blew the Mounties out of the water 25-10; Clara Lucien sealing the deal with a service ace to send the Seawolves bursting into tomorrow’s finals.

Player of the game for the Seawolves, Veronique Bastarache, boiled down today’s win to the team “playing with heart.”

Their passion and dedication was entirely evident, but Seawolves coach, Kevin Manual, cautioned that his team needs to play a complete game against tomorrow’s opponent, the first ranked Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics:

“We played really well at times today, but at times we eased off. You can’t do that against MSVU, they will capitalize on it,” said Coach Manual.

If the Seawolves win tomorrow’s game, they will head to Toronto to compete at National Championships. Bastarache believes that for tomorrow’s game, that the Seawolves have “everything to loose, and everything to gain.”

The final match is tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Mount Allison University in Sackville and the game can be watched online at www.acaatv.ca