The 2014-15 ACAA Volleyball Championships did not kick-off as anticipated for the women’s Seawolves volleyball team.
Host team and defending ACAA champions, Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics defeated the Seawolves in four sets in semi-final action Saturday.
Despite a close first set, the Mystics took the first two sets straight. The home team did not give the Seawolves much of a chance in the second set, beating them 25-10.
Just when it seemed like the Seawolves season would be done in a matter of minutes, the ladies pulled a surprising U-turn and challenged the Mystics for every point in the third set.
From the beginning of the third set, the Seawolves and Mystics were neck and neck.
While the Seawolves often left gaps in their defense, allowing the Mystics’ quick and accurate hitting to reclaim points, the Seawolves were strong on the block and tireless when it came to digging.
Veteran player and fifth year student Alison Stymiest, who played her final game as a Seawolf, was continually quick to dig the ball and claim kills for the Seawolves. She finished the game with 9 kills and 16 digs.
Stymiest was named on Friday night to the 1st Team All-Conference.
After loosing two straight sets, the Seawolves could have packed it in and let it be. This was not the case.
From timely kills by Indigo Clement to a set-winning block by Danielle Doucet, the Seawolves fought hard to win the set, and they earned it.
Even when the score was 22-22, the referees made a poor call that resulted in the Mystics re-taking the lead (see photo of aghast spectators). This call would have been enough to deflate the hopes of any team.
A kill by Katherine Houser forced a Mystics timeout at 24-23, but the Seawolves did not fully loose their momentum.
Rookie setter Veronique McGrath set up Houser once again to make the game 25-24 in favour of the Seawolves. Despite the teeter-tottering score, the Seawolves claimed their first and only set victory of this year’s championships, at a final score of 27-25.
The fourth set was the opportune time for the Seawolves to keep riding their pesky wave, but recurring theme of leaving open space, allowed for tips, blocks, and kills to rain down and hinder any comeback.
After an intense and energetic third set, the fourth set fell quickly 25-12 to send the Mystics to the finals to defend their title.
Player of the game for the Seawolves was third year middle Katherine Houser who registered 10 kills. Houser was also named to the 1st Team All-Conference at Friday night’s Championship banquet.