Championships Women’s Volleyball

The defending national champions had to dig deep on Friday afternoon in the quarter-final at the U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championships, presented by Hotel Universel Quebec. A resilient Dalhousie Tigers team pushed the contest to the limit, but the UBC Thunderbirds prevailed at the PEPS at Université Laval by a 3-2 (24-26, 28-26, 24-26, 25-18, 15-8) margin.

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Seeded third in the tournament, the Thunderbirds played a series of long rallies in a match that was exciting for the fans, but maybe less so for the coaches. UBC will take on the Alberta Pandas in the national semi-final on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. As for the Tigers, they drop to the consolation round, where they will take on the Montreal Carabins on Saturday at 1 p.m ET.

“I predicted that there wouldn’t be any easy matches in this tournament, but I didn’t want to be quite that right,” said Thunderbirds head coach Doug Reimer after the match. “It took us time, but we played steady volleyball in the fourth and fifth sets. We have to find the balance between staying assertive and not playing too careful and at times we gave them too many opportunities just by making errors, but that is the nature of our sport.”

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The Tigers did something special to start the match. The T-Birds scored 10 points before Dalhousie got on the scoreboard. That didn’t stop the AUS representatives from mounting a miraculous comeback and winning the first set 26-24.

“The girls showed a lot of resiliency and composure,” said Tigers head coach Rick Scott. “I’m proud of my girls. We played very hard and UBC played very well. It’s a good experience. UBC has been through tough matches and maybe this is what helped them to win this last set that they deserved to win at the end”

His comments echoed those of his counterpart Reimer, when the UBC boss was asked if his team panicked when Dalhousie took a 2-1 lead after the third set.

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“Panic would be too strong, but I don’t think we showed the urgency we needed early enough or at key times in sets one and three.”

And what does Reimer expect against the Pandas in the semi-final?

“They have a young team, somewhat like us, but a very talented team, they’re going be very well prepared so we need to make sure we refocus and are ready to go.”

Thunderbirds libero Samantha Patko earned the title of player of the game, with 31 digs. Julie Moore, who had 16 kills an ace and a block assist, was the logical choice for the Tigers.


Players of the Game

UBC Thunderbirds: Samantha Patko

Dalhousie Tigers: Julie Moore