Published on March 13, 2016
Vancouver Island University Mariners Mikayla Wagner, left, and Cattie Heglin, go up for the block as teammate Chantal Cummings, centre, waits for a deflection during Saturday's Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association women's volleyball championship game at Holland College. The Mariners defeated the Elans de Garneau to win the title.
Brian McInnis/The Guardian
Published on March 11, 2016
Ferocious blocking, opportune hitting and solid defence propelled the sixth-seeded Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners to a 3-1 gold-medal victory over the Elans de Garneau at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) women's volleyball championship Saturday in Charlottetown.
Tournament MVP Tyler Turnbull and Cattie Heglin each had five blocks and restrained the top-seeded Garneau's hitting game, while Kelsey Johnson led all players with 18 digs.
VIU took a 2-0 set lead after winning games 25-18 and 25-22, but Garneau recovered to take the third set 25-20.
In the fourth frame, VIU got a timely block and two key kills by Turnbull, which set the squad on track for a 25-19 victory and its first national title since 2012.
Turnbull, a fifth-year senior, was there in 2012, but didn't play much. This time, the team captain finished with 12 kills, seven digs, three aces and three blocking assists. She said she semi-lost it when the match-winning point hit the surface of the Garneau court.
"Oh my God. I just bolted. Being here (and winning in) my last year is really a different feeling. I'll remember the girls and this moment. It's definitely something I'll never forget," said Turnbull.
For much of the game, VIU had the higher energy level and consistently found ways to counter CCAA player of the year Maud Chapleau, who finished with 14 kills but also a game-high 10 errors.
All-Canadian Anne-Sophie Tanguay did her best with a monstrous 20-kill game, but the rest of the Garneau hitters were unable to get into a rhythm, tallying just 16 kills between five players.
"Our blocking, especially shutting down their main hitters (was key)," said Turnbull. (And) strong defence."
VIU's Mikayla Wagner chipped in 10 kills, while Noemie Daigneault and Chapleau each tallied 12 digs for Garneau, which also finished second last year.
Next year's nationals are hosted by Camosun College in Victoria, B.C.
Humber 3 Briercrest 1
The Humber Hawks shook off 25-22 loss in the first set and won the next three frames 25-23, 25-27 and 25-23, respectively, to win the bronze – its first medal at the nationals.
The player of the game for Humber was Alexandra Newman, who had nine kills. Briercrest's player of the game was Ashley Zacharias, who had four digs and a kill.
Briercrest reached the bronze medal game with a 3-1 (19-25, 25-23, 25-21, 26-24) win over the King's Eagles while Humber straight-setted Holland College 25-19, 25-18 and 25-19 to earn a berth in the bronze.
Seventh/eighth placing game
COTR 3 Mount Saint Vincent 1
The College of the Rockies (COTR) Avalanche defeated the Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) Mystics 3-1 to finish seventh, propelled by 25-13 first and second set victories.
MSVU brought its A-game for the third set, overcame an early deficit and earned a 25-18 win, but the Mystics couldn't keep momentum going and lost 25-18 in the fourth.
Player of the game for COTR was Alexa Thompson, who had eight kills and two service aces to add along with a team leading 14 digs.
Madison Urqhart took home player of the game for MSVU. She had eight kills and three digs.
Need to know
All-stars from the CCAA national women's volleyball championship in Charlottetown.
MVP - Tylar Turnbull, Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners.
First-Team All-Stars - Samantha Zacharias, Briercrest Clippers; Thalia Hanniman, Humber Hawks; Megan Rosenlund and Chantal Cummings, VIU; Anne-Sophie Tanguay and Maud Chapleau, Elans de Garneau.
Second-Team All-Stars - Sydney Foy, Holland College Hurricanes; Keri Alcorn and Jocelyn Van Ryk, King's Eagles; Alley Newman and Deborah Mitchell, Humber; Mikayla Wagner, VIU.