The UNB Saint John Seawolves women’s volleyball team opened their season at home with a match on Saturday against the defending ACAA champions, the Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) Mystics.
While trading points back and forth at the beginning of the set, the Mystics managed to pull away, earning 5 consecutive points off the Seawolves’ errors.
UNB Saint John responded, coming back to lead the Mystics 23-18. MSVU would not roll over and helped by a pair of service aces managed a massive 7 point run, showing their depth and experience.
MSVU and UNB Saint John were close for much of the second set, until Seawolves middle, Montanna Meyer, went on an eight-point serving streak, giving the Seawolves an 18-9 lead.
The Mystics responded with a five-point run but were unable to catch the Seawolves in time. Huge kills from Lena Overlander, Taneesha Dalling, and Jenna DeGooyer drove UNB Saint John to victory in the second set, 25-22.
With confidence and excitement running high, both teams prepared for the third set. It stayed close until a few errors from the Seawolves lead to a setter substitution and allowed the Mystics to pull away.
A Mystics kill by Maggie Birney was the cherry on top and they took the third set decisively, 25-17.
The fourth set started with the Seawolves up early by two points and the evenly matched teams were only ever separated by 3 points throughout the nail biter of a set.
Even though the Seawolves put up a fight, including five kills from Overlander, they weren’t enough and the Mystics snuck away with the game after the 29-27 set win.
Despite their first loss of the season, Dalling and Overlander lead the match in kills with 10 and 12, respectively combining for a whopping 25 points.
“MSVU has always been good but we put up a good fight and although we lost, we learned a lot throughout the game,” Degooyer said about her team’s first regular season game.
The Seawolves feel that they will be more confident during their next match up against the Mystics.
“We made some comebacks and that showed a lot of mental strength,” Montana Meyer stated in an interview following the game.
“It’s a good starting point for the rest of the year.”
The Seawolves’ second match of their home opener weekend took place on Sunday against the Holland College Hurricanes, who finished with a silver medal in last season’s ACAA championships.
The first set was awarded to the Seawolves, 25-22, as Lena Overlander sealed the deal with a huge kill.
The Seawolves also took the second set, 25-20. After being tied 11-11, the Seawolves took advantage of the Hurricanes’ errors to pull ahead 20-15. They managed to keep their momentum and Montana Meyer led the attack, scoring three kills in the set.
Hoping to put things away in three, the Seawolves took to the court for a close, hard fought third set.
The Hurricanes hung around for most of the set and after being tied 23-23, two UNB service errors allowed Holland College to stay alive and eventually take it 30-28.
A fourth set was needed and this time the Seawolves were victorious. After only leading by two or three points for most of the final set, Dalling’s serve streak led to five consecutive points for UNB Saint John and would propel her team to win 25-19.
The Seawolves are off to a good start with a 1-1 record after their home opening weekend.
Second year starting setter, Taylor McGrattan, finished the weekend with 51 assists. DeGooyer, Dalling, and Overlander bombarded their opposition with a combined 49 kills during the two matches.
The Seawolves will hit the road for their next three regular season games when they battle Mount Allison University, Dalhousie AC, and St. Thomas University.
They will return home to the G. Forbes Elliot Athletics Centre on November 20 to clash with the Mt. Allison Mounties who upset the team in the quarter finals in last year’s ACAA championships. Set time is scheduled for 3 P.M.