Source: Andy Campbell, UNB Athletics
(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Reds earned their first win of the 2019-20 RSEQ men's volleyball season, beating the Dalhousie Tigers in straight sets.
The Reds won 25-22, 25-22 and 25-10.
"It feels great," said Reds outside hitter Connor McConnell (Hanwell, NB). "We're always expecting to win, but the big focus was on our compete factor and I think we did pretty well tonight."
The Reds raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first set, forcing the visitors to call an early time-out.
The break worked, and the Tigers rallied with three straight points to close the gap.
Back and forth play saw the teams tied 12-12 before the Reds pushed out to a 14-12 lead.
At the technical time out of the first set, the Reds held a slim 16-14 advantage.
The back and forth nature of the set continued after the break, but the Reds were able to maintain their lead and won the set 25-22.
In the second set, the Reds rolled out to an 8-2 lead before the Tigers could rally.
But the Reds wouldn't allow the visitors to gain any foothold, countering almost every point the Tigers scored.
At the technical time-out, UNB was up 16-11, but the Tigers rallied again.
They forced the Reds to call time-out twice, the second time while holding on to a 24-22 lead.
A McConnell kill punctuated UNB's 25-22 win to take a 2-0 lead.
"We let them come into the game a couple of times where we should've pulled off, but they were pretty good games," said McConnell.
In the third set, the Reds again pulled out to a big lead early.
Down 10-3, the Tigers called time-out.
Strong blocking by first-year Red Thomas Vickers (Bible Hill, NS) allowed UNB to push the lead to 14-4.
At the technical time out, the Reds led 16-6.
A couple more McConnell kills were featured as UNB scored the final three points of the match to win the set 25-10, and take the match 3-0.
"We're figuring a lot of things out, obviously," said Tigers outside hitter and captain Graham Schmuland (Calgary, AB). "We've been plagued by a lot of injuries to begin with, so there are a lot of gaps and that was pretty evident tonight."
Brad Merryweather (New Maryland, NB) had a match-high 23 serve assists for UNB.
McConnell finished with 14 kills and Vickers with 11 digs, both match bests.
The Reds, now 1-and-2, and the Tigers, now 0-and-3, meet again Saturday. Game time is 2:30pm, at UNB's Richard J. Currie Center.