The University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves women’s volleyball team fell short on Friday night in a match up against the University of King’s College (UKC) Blue Devils.
The 7th place Blue Devils upset the 3rd place Seawolves in three quick sets with the loss coming as a shock to Seawolves fans.
Prior to Friday nights game, the Seawolves had defeated the Blue Devils easily in their two other contests of the regular season.
UNB Saint John had an extremely rough start in the first set and were unable to organize an offensive attack. The Blue Devils rushed out to a 16-4 lead, after Kirstin Conrad strung together a 12 point serving run. Seawolves’ head coach, Lauren Hale-Miller, called a timeout half way through UKC’s progressive point run but it did not throw Conrad off her game.
Hale-Miller made substitutions in an attempt to regain ground but the Blue Devils did not back down, with UKC took the first set 25-15.
Taneesha Dalling got the second set started by landing a kill and the Seawolves’ spirit seemed to return despite the sloppy first set. UNB Saint John kept close to their opponent and eventually took the lead mid way through the set, 13-12.
The Seawolves could only manage a one or two point lead until the Blue Devils finally surpassed them, 17-16.
More UNB Saint John substitutions in final efforts to save the set failed and UKC outplayed the Seawolves again, 25-21.
The Seawolves had their last chance to recover in the third set. With the Blue Devils excitement and determination at an all time high, UNB Saint John needed to perform soundly without errors to keep themselves in the game.
Seawolves’ offence ran smoothly and forced a UKC time out at 9-6. The home team held their momentum for a few more points until their grit faded halfway through the set. The Blue Devils took advantage and kills from Jenna DeGooyer and Taneesha Dalling weren’t enough as UKC finished their sweep with a third set 27-25 win.
“They had to win this game to get into the playoffs so they really showed up to play,” said DeGooyer. Dayna Alexander added to her teammates thoughts. “Our defensive errors and swings into the net cost us the game.”
“We knew we could play better and we knew we could beat them so that part was very frustrating,” she said.
DeGooyer and Dalling each landed 6 kills from 20 attempts during the match. Libero Indigo Clement added 14 digs.
Coming off a disappointing loss, the Seawolves will take on the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics Sunday morning. The Mystics sit in first place with only one loss this season.
“Tomorrow is going to be a tough game but we need to forget about the loss and start with a clean slate,” said DeGooyer referring to what will be their last home game of the regular season.
The action gets underway February 19 at 11AM at UNB Saint John and can be streamed live at acaatv.ca