WVB National Championship: Day 1 Recap

WVB National Championship: Day 1 Recap

Match 1: TKU Eagles 3, MSVU Mystics 2

The opening match of the 2019 CCAA Women’s Volleyball National Championship saw The King’s University Eagles advance to the CCAA semi-final with a hard fought five-set victory over the MSVU Mystics. The set scores in the contest were 23-25, 25-12, 25-18, 23-25, 15-6.

The matchup pitted a pair of conference champions against each other, with The King’s (22-2) representing the ACAC and Mount Saint Vincent (21-0) representing the ACAA.

The back and forth affair saw the two teams trade points and set victories from start to finish.

The Eagles were paced by a dominant three pronged offensive attack. Veteran third-year outside hitter Anna Janzen led the charge finishing with a game high 28 kills, while also adding six digs. Six-foot left side Jayden Bontkes finished with 22 kills and nine digs, while second-year middle Sydney Warchola was an absolute force defensively finishing with eights blocks and 12 kills. Janzen was named the Eagles player of the game for her performance.

The Mystics were led offensively by fifth-year veteran outside hitter Madison Urquhardt. She finished with 14 kills and a service ace. The MSVU player of the game was towering middle blocker Laura MacDonnell who finished with eight kills and two blocks.

Match 2: Douglas Royals 3, Fanshawe Falcons 0

In Match 2, the DouglasRoyals defeated the Fanshawe Falcons in three straight sets (27-25, 25-22, 25-12).

The Royals (18-6) came into the tournament having recently earned silver at the 2018 PACWEST Championships. The Falcons, meanwhile, were the OCAA Champions as they rode a 22-0 record straight to the OCAA gold.

The match started off as close as it could possibly get, as the teams needed extra points to solve it with the Royals ultimately pulling off the 27-25 win. They used that momentum to finish off the 3-0 sweep.

Leading the way for Douglas was Vania Oliveira who smashed home 18 kills on a .500 hitting percentage. Also helping out offensively was Caet McCorkell who finished with nine kills. Starting setter Jane Kepler was the 4Imprint Player of the Match for her team, setting up Oliveria and McCorkell all match long. She had 22 assists in the three-set win.

Janelle Albert, 2019 CCAA Women’s Volleyball Player of the Year, took home the 4Imprint Player of the Match award for the Falcons in the loss. The 5’10” outside hitter had 11 kills and 12 digs. Also contributing for the Falcons was Meghan Morelli who registered four kills and 11 digs.

Match 3: VIU Mariners 3, Niagara Knights 0

Match 3 featured a full-capacity gymnasium at the host Niagara Knights’ opening match of the tournament. The Knights fell to the VIU Mariners, last year’s national champs, in three sets (25-14, 25-15, 25-12). 

The Mariners (23-1) took out the Douglas Royals in the PACWEST final, while had an impressive OCAA playoffs after finishing the regular season with a 10-8 record. The Knights took down some tough competition on route to their second straight silver medal at the OCAA Championship. 

Even in front of a booming Knights fan base, the Mariners were not thrown from their game at all as they cruised to a 3-0 victory.

VIU had some impressive performances from their attackers, including strong matches from Danielle Groenendijk and Andrea Cankovic, who both had double digit kills with 15 and 10, respectively. Mariners’ fifth-year setter Chantal Cumming helped her teammates reach the double-digit kills as she had 31 assists in the win. Groenendijk took home the 4Imprint Player of the Match.

On the Knights side of things, Madelyn Berg continued her impressive rookie season as the Libero won the 4Imprint Player of the Match after a solid defensive performance. Fourth-year team captain Jordan Koslowski led the team with seven kills while rookie outside hitter Olivia Burnie tallied six.

Match 4: Cavaliers de Bois-de-Boulogne 3, Briercrest Clippers 2

Our final match of the opening day here at Niagara College Welland Campus was perhaps the most exciting match of the day. The Bois-de-Boulogne Cavaliers took on the Briercrest Clippers and it was the Cavaliers who fought off the comeback attempt from Briercrest and won the match 3-2 (25-19, 25-14, 14-25, 20-25, 15-4).

Coming into the tournament, Bois-de-Boulogne (13-5) record took home gold at the RSEQ Championship. Briercrest, out of Caronport, SK, finished their season atop the South Division with a 20-4 record. They finished the ACAC Championship with a silver medal.

The match started off heavily favoured in the Cavaliers side of the court, as they cruised to a 2-0 lead. Briercrest battled back, however, putting on their rally caps and evening things up to force a fifth and final set. The Cavaliers would regain their momentum and finished off the 3-2 win.

The Cavaliers were led by All-Canadian Victoria Iannatti who finished with a game-high 19 kills. Libero Camille Rochefort, the 4Imprint Player of the Match for her team, was outstanding defensively making multiple diving digs to keep the ball alive. She ended the match with 18 digs. Beatrice Lamarche had 14 kills in the win.

For the Clippers, All-Canadian Setter Ashley Erickson won the 4Imprint Player of the Match as she set up her attackers beautifully all match long. She finished with a game-high 34 assists. Leading the way in kills was Becky Garner who had 15.