Source: Andy Campbell, UNB Athletics
(FREDERICTON, NB) - The UNB Varsity Reds and Dal Tigers are teams headed in opposite directions.
The Tigers improved to 8-0 Friday evening, with a 3-0 win over the Varsity Reds, who see their record drop to 0-8.
Dal won with scores of 25-15, 25-17 and 25-11.
Courtney Baker (Bridgewater, NS) led the Tigers with 17 kills and 8 digs.
Maggie McLenahan (Oromocto, NB) led the Varsity Reds with 13 digs, while Julia Diemert (Egbert, ON) had 3 kills and 4 blocks.
A couple of Baker kills allowed the Tigers to jump out to an early 4-0 lead in the first set.
The home side was able to recover, slightly, but Dal's experience showed early.
The Tigers led 6-2, 10-6 and 19-9.
Another 4-0 run pushed Dal's lead to 23-10 before another short UNB rally.
Dal would win the first set 25-15.
"We tried to keep it consistent on our side," said Baker. "We defend what they're doing, but worry about what's going on on our side, control what we can control."
Natalie Arsenault (Moncton, NB) served an ace to open the second set 1-0 for UNB, but Dal roared back with four straight points.
Trailing 18-9, the young Varsity Reds side went on a 5-0 run to close the gap to 18-14. That run was fueled by three key blocks by Diemert.
"We were down quite a bit, but when we get one of those awesome moments, you can just see it in the way we walk, the way our heads are up, even the bench is into it more than normal," she said.
Dal would post another 4-0 run to close the second set, and win 25-17.
The Tigers wasted little time in the third set, jumping out to 3-0 and 13-1 leads, en route to a 25-11 win… and the 3-0 victory.
When asked about the difference between the two teams, Baker was cautious.
"We don't really look at the standings," she said. "We just hope for a good game and work hard."
Disappointed with the loss, Varsity Reds interim head coach James Cress said inconsistency is plaguing his young team.
"The peaks and valleys of errors," said Cress. "In the first part of the match, we were right with them. We weren't making unforced errors. But in the end, we were just bottoming out, we really struggled to be consistent, where their group maintained a level of consistency."
While they're still looking for their first win, Diemert says UNB is focused on improving.
"I'm excited, because I know that we're young," she said. "0-and-8, a lot of people say it must be tough. But we all love the game and we all know what we're capable of."
Cress believes the team knows what it has to do to improve.
"We need to continue to expand our capacity on duration of error-free ball, of running our system."
The Varsity Reds host Acadia, Saturday afternoon at 3:30, while the Tigers travel to Moncton.