(FREDERICTON, NB) The scoreboard said 3-1 Dalhousie, but Jilliane Portelli says the UNB Varsity Reds won a lot on Friday night.
The Varsity Reds head coach was frustrated with the loss, but happy with the effort. "I thought we pushed harder, I thought we played a lot harder. If only we'd started some of those sets stronger," said Portelli.
"I thought that we out-served them, I thought that we passed a lot better, there were areas that we actually played a better game."
The visiting Tigers won the match with scores of 25-21, 16-25, 25-19 and 25-20.
Dal opened the scoring in the first set, but the Varsity Reds were able to stay with the Tigers.
Late in the set, Dal service and attack errors put the hosts up 18-16, but the visitors rallied and closed the gap.
They were tied 19-19, 20-20 and 22-22, before Dal pulled away to win the opener.
The point trading continued in the second set, before UNB jumped out to an 8-5 lead, capped by a Robyn Anderson kill.
The Varsity Reds never trailed after that, building an impressive 21-14 lead with Janie-Eve Doucet serving through four of those points.
UNB took the second set 25-16.
"We just made too many mistakes," said Tigers coach Rick Scott. "Whether it was setting mistakes or hitting mistakes. When you make as many unforced errors as we did in that second set, it's going to be tough to win against anybody."
Dal took the momentum back in the third, racing out to a 4-0 lead.
The Tigers built leads of 14-7, 17-10 and 23-18 before winning 25-19.
The visitors again built a 4-0 lead to start the fourth set, and pushed that to 15-5.
The VReds were able to rally and trade points the rest of the way, but the Tigers were too much. They prevailed 25-20.
"There's no easy outs, we have a lot of respect for UNB, they're a young team, but we knew it would be tough," said Scott.
Mieke DuMont led the Tigers attack with 11 kills, 15 digs and 12 points.
Courtney Baker registered 10 kills and 13 digs, and was named the Subway player of the game.
Megan Kuciak led UNB with 13 kills, 15 digs and 16 points.
Maggie McLenahan was strong defensively, with 17 digs.
"We've got young players in big roles on the team, both setting and hitting, and it's just a work in progress," said Coach Portelli. "They're first and second year players who are learning how to set-up the offence and how to kill the ball."
With the loss, the Varsity Reds are now 3-and-12 this season. They've now dropped 8 in a row.
Dal improves to 11-and-3, and continue to lead the AUS standings.
The Tigers travel to Moncton, Saturday.
The Varsity Reds welcome the Saint Mary's Huskies to the Currie Center, Saturday afternoon.
First serve is scheduled for 3:00PM, as Think Pink Weekend continues.