VANCOUVER – The No. 7-seeded UBC Thunderbirds upset the No. 2 Brock Badgers in a thrilling 3-1 (18-25, 25-19, 27-25, 25-20) comeback victory in the third quarterfinal matchup at the 2023 U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championship inside a raucous War Memorial Gym.
Brock stormed out to an early 12-4 lead in the first before the host Thunderbirds regrouped to make it a four-point deficit at 17-13, but the OUA champions pulled away to take the opening set. UBC fought to a 10-10 tie in the second frame and earned a 21-17 lead on a solo block by captain Brynn Pasin en route to capturing the set. In the third, a Laurin Ainsworth kill gave the Badgers a 19-14 advantage as Brock maintained a narrow lead late in the frame. UBC fought off a string of Badger set points and completed the comeback to even the score at 24-24 on a Pasin kill before Lucy Borowski punctuated the set win for the T-Birds. The ‘Birds came up with a big block for a 17-12 edge in the fourth and maintained their composure through to victory on an Akash Grewal kill.
Elise Petit recorded a team-high 18 kills for the ‘Birds, Pasin put up 12 kills, Jayde Robertsen notched six kills at a .857 clip with a match-best seven blocks and two aces, and Kacey Jost earned 20 digs and eight assists in the hard-fought win. Laurin Ainsworth racked up a whopping 22 kills with two aces and four blocks for Brock, while Grace Pyatt put up 16 kills with a .577 hitting percentage and three blocks in the loss.
With the win, the T-Birds secured a spot in the semifinals where they will meet either the No. 3-seeded Mount Royal Cougars or the No. 6 Manitoba Bisons at 8:00 p.m. (Pacific) on Saturday, while Brock will play a consolation match against the loser of the Cougars vs. Bisons match at 3:00 p.m. (Pacific) on Saturday.
Mikasa Players of the Game
- Brock: Grace Pyatt
- UBC: Elise Petit