Hurricanes lose hard-fought volleyball championship battle with MSVU

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The Holland College Hurricanes celebrate a point win in front of a packed house in Saint John, N.B., this weekend during the ACAA women's volleyball championship against the MSVU Mystics. From left, are Meg MacKinnon, Gracie Ferguson, Sydney Foy, Kendra Dawkins, Emily Caldwell and Olivia Dolphin. The Mystics went on to win the championship game in five sets.

The Holland Hurricanes and MSVU Mystics battled through five intense sets but in the end it was the Mystics that claimed the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association conference title.

The Hurricanes would open up the match with an exciting 30-28 win before the Mystics bounced back to win set two 25-19 and set three 25-22.

With their backs against the wall the 'Canes would not fold. Trailing in the fourth by a score of 22-19, the Hurricanes stormed back to win the set 25-23, forcing a fifth and deciding set. The first to 15 points would win the championship.

Tied at 11-11 late in the fifth, the Mystics would pull out the win by a score of 15-11.

The loss is the second straight ACAA silver medal for the Hurricanes. They reached the final after receiving a bye from their 18-3 regular season and defeated the STU Tommies in the semifinals in straight sets.

The 'Canes will now turn their attention towards the national women's volleyball championship in Charlottetown on March 9-12 at the Holland College Centre for Community Engagement.

They will joined by the College of the Rockies Avalanche (Cranbrook, B.C., Pacwest champion), Vancouver Island University Mariners (Nanaimo, B.C., Pacwest wildcard), Briercrest College Clippers (Caronport, Sask., ACAC champion), Kings University College Eagles (Edmonton, Alta., ACAC wildcard), Humber College Hawks (Toronto, Ont., OCAA champion), CEGEP Garneau Elans (Ville de Quebec, Que., RSEQ champion) and the MSVU Mystics (Halifax, N.S., ACAA champions).

The men's Hurricanes entered the weekend in third place and in need of a big semifinal win over the STU Tommies on Saturday to advance to the ACAA championship game.

Straight-set wins for the Tommies by scores of 26-24, 25-12 and 27-25 gave them the win. They would go on to win the conference championship over UNBSJ in five sets on Sunday.

In Saturday's loss, Kenton Dawkins led the way with ten kills while Brett Butler had 11 digs.

Organizations: Holland College Centre for Community Engagement, Briercrest College, Kings University College Humber College Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association Vancouver Island University Mariners

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Cranbrook, Nanaimo Caronport Sask. Edmonton Toronto, Ont Ville de Quebec Halifax

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