(HALIFAX, NS) The #2 seeded UNB Varsity Reds used a strong offensive attack to defeat #1 Dalhousie in straight sets… 25-18, 25-20, 25-20… on Saturday night, in game one of the 2017 Subway AUS Championship.
The Varsity Reds finished with a .429 hitting percentage as a team, and were led by outside hitters Eivind Andersen(Sardnes, NOR) and Pascal McCarthy(Fredericton, NB), who both recorded 14 kills. Outside hitter Matthew Donovan(London, ON) finished with a team-high 12 kills for the Tigers in the loss.
The visitors never trailed in the first set, and were led by outside hitter Tristen Burridge(Fort St. John, BC), who had five kills.
Dal's hitters did an admirable job, with Donovan, Kristen O'Brien(Truro, NS) and Jeffrey Walton(Sudbury, ON) all tallying four kills, but it wasn't enough, as the Tigers essentially cost themselves the set on the service line, with five errors.
The second set was tighter, with the two teams trading the lead multiple times early on. UNB would take a one-point lead into the technical timeout and didn't look back, surrendering just five points afterwards.
The visitors combined for a .538 hitting percentage, with McCarthy leading the attack with five kills. The Tigers kept pace, with a .458 hitting percentage in the set, but were unable to claw back from a six-point deficit down the stretch.
McCarthy and Donovan went back-and-forth in the final set, accumulating five and four kills respectively for their squads in yet another see-saw battle.
Service errors cost the hosts again, with two critical misplays in the game's final 10 points. The Tigers finished with 13 overall, in what was otherwise a tight affair.
Up 1-0 in the conference championship, the Varsity Reds can clinch the AUS banner with a victory at home on Saturday, March 4. First serve is scheduled for 7:00pm, at the Richard J. Currie Center.
If the Tigers can emerge victorious, then the deciding match will be played at the Dalplex on Friday, March 10.
RECAP BY: Dal Athletics
PHOTO BY: Trevor MacMillan/for Dal Athletics