Tensions high; battle fierce between UNB Saint John and Mt. Allison in 2nd quarterfinal of ACAA women’s volleyball playoffs

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A crowd of more than 150 gathered for the second match of the ACAA women’s volleyball playoffs as part of the sport filled weekend at UNB Saint John.

The Seawolves and the Mounties were prepared to leave it all on the court as they fought for their spot in the semifinal.

The first set of the match was an impressive battle between the home team and the Mounties, playing a point for point game.

The Mounties gained momentum, out-pacing the Seawolves and gaining a sizeable lead over the home team.

The set ended with a miscommunication between Seawolves #3, Jenna Degooyer and #1, Emilie Fitzpatrick that gave the Mounties the winning point, 25-16.

The second set opened with a big block by #9 of the Seawolves, Katherine Houser, which gave the home team first point on the board.

The Mounties quickly rebounded, with #12, Rachel Van Gestle of Mt. Allison serving up an ace, and grabbing a couple of points for the Mounties.

Following a couple of mishandled plays, the Seawolves gained some momentum, maintaining a lead as their score climbed into double digits.

Frustrated with the play in the second set, head coach of Mt. Allison, Paul Settle, called a timeout at 13-10 in hopes of resetting his team.

The Seawolves narrowly missed their opportunity to take the set, but a net violation by the Mounties gave the Seawolves the advantage, and two solid plays by the home team tied things up at one set each.

The third set saw the Mounties take an early lead, although the Seawolves continued to fight hard to keep up with the visiting team.

A bit of a momentum shift for the Seawolves came on the heels of a yellow card, presented by the head official to Mt. Allison, after the coach Settle expressed concerns with one of the calls that were made.

Saint John kept pace with the Mounties throughout the rest of the set, and after a powerful hit by Seawolves #8, Taneesha Dalling, the Seawolves secured a second set win, 26-24 and found themselves up 2 sets to 1.

With expectations on both sides of the net from the coaching staff, Mount Allison took the first, although narrow, lead over UNB Saint John for the 4th set.

The following plays would result in points for the Mounties, at one point being up double over the Seawolves, 16-8.

The Mounties hung on to that lead, and tied up the match with a 25-12 win, forcing a fifth and final set between the two teams.

The deciding set started strong for the Mounties, taking a lead and hanging on to it as the first to put 8 points on the board.

After switching sides, the Mounties continued, forcing a timeout call from the Seawolves coaching staff in hopes to shift the momentum.

The Mounties closed the fifth set, 15-7, leading to a match victory, 3 sets to 2.

“We started off strong, then we got into mistakes, then we cleaned it up a little,” said Mounties coach Settle.

“We are still making mental errors…when we go up against Mt Saint Vincent, who are so solid on the net, we need to be setting the ball to the right.”

Players of the match were awarded to #8, Lynne Arsenault of the Mounties and #9, Katherine Houser of the Seawolves.

The Mounties will advance to tomorrow’s semi-final to face Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics to try and secure a spot in the finals.

Emily is in her fourth year of Political Science. She loves studying and academics which follows into her research work. She's a stern black coffee drinker and is a proud Acadienne. When she's not working or doing school work, you can find Emily listening to 70s music on vinyl and watching Parks and Recreation. If you ask her about parliamentary institutions, she won't stop talking.