(HALIFAX, NS) In the third and deciding match of the Subway Atlantic University Sport men’s volleyball Championship, the UNB Varsity Reds defeated the Dalhousie Tigers three sets to one to win their ninth conference championship. This is their third title in a row and fourth in six seasons.
In the first set, UNB took the early advantage, gaining a 7-4 lead in front of a loud, boisterous crowd with fans from both teams cheering loudly. This momentum continued, as the Varsity Reds built a 19-11 lead late in the set. The Tigers attempted a late comeback, getting it to 23-20 in the dying moments. But, the Varsity Reds were able to take care of things in the first set, winning it, 25-22.
The second set saw UNB get out to a quick start once again, leading 8-5. However, Dalhousie was able to swing the momentum back, rallying for a 17-13 lead. The Tigers extended that to 23-19 before taking the set 25-20 and tying the match 1-1.
UNB scored the first four points of the third set. But, the Tigers were not without a response, tying the set 9-9. The Varsity Reds were able to take the momentum back, eventually leading 23-20. Despite a late Dal rally, UNB got the win in the third set, 25-22.
The fourth set just as tight, with the teams tied 8-8 early. The Varsity Reds took an 11-9 lead, but the set quickly ended up back in a tie, 13-13. UNB was able to take over from there, taking a 21-16 lead and winning the fourth set, 25-18, to win the AUS title, taking the best of three series 2-1.
The Varsity Reds were led by Subway Player of the Match Connor McConnell(Hanwell, NB), who had 15 kills and six digs. Pascal McCarthy(Fredericton, NB) contributed eight kills, seven digs and three blocks for UNB.
Matthew Donovan(London, ON) powered the Tigers with a match-leading 16 kills, along with 10 digs and six blocks. Jeffrey Walton(Sudbury, ON) chipped in eight kills, three digs, and one block.
UNB setter Kent Doucette was named the MVP of the championship series.
The Varsity Reds advance to the U SPORTS men’s volleyball championship, March 16-18 at McMaster University, in Hamilton, Ontario.
RECAP BY: Marc Moffat/for Dal Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Trevor MacMillan/for Dal Athletics