(Halifax, N.S.) – The Dalhousie Tigers (18-1) were able to best the Moncton Aigles Bleues (7-10) 3-2 in a thrilling back and forth affair Friday night at the Dalplex.
Multiple players shone on both sides in what was an exciting battle from start to finish, with seven combined players registering at least eight kills and ten tallying a minimum of five digs.
The visitors were strong on the attack in the first set, recording fifteen total kills compared to thirteen for Dalhousie. Outsider hitter Pascale Doiron (Caraquet, NS) stood out for Moncton, leading the Aigles Bleues to an early 6-1 lead, while providing an impressive eight of her team's kills in the first set.
Two emphatic kills from Courtney Baker (Bridgewater, NS) woke the Tigers up. Dalhousie would go on to record seven of the next ten points to tie the game up at 8 points apiece.
The two teams went point for point, exchanging several leads with neither team able to garner a gap greater than three points. The Tigers went into the technical timeout on top with a one-point lead over the Aigles Bleues.
The second set began in a similar manner of the first. The Aigles Bleues refined their game, generating a four-point lead and this time not letting it slip. Doiron continued to pull the strings for the Aigles Bleues attack, recording half of the visitor's kills in the set.
The Aigles Bleues consistently capitalized on their quality approaches, putting the Tigers under pressure and making them commit a total of six errors in the set. Moncton would go on to take the second set 25-21 and tie the game at 1-1.
The Aigles Bleues looked to keep their momentum rolling into the third set, but the Tigers responded well to the second set loss.
Dalhousie developed a well-rounded attack in the third set, getting kills from six different players. Emma Ciprick (Binscarth, MB) would propel the Tigers to a 25-17 third set win, contributing two kills and two service aces.
Dalhousie looked to put the game away in the fourth set. The set was a back and forth affair with both teams getting strong contributions from their notable key players. Courtney Baker recorded five kills, three assists, and one block in the fifth set for the Tigers, while the Aigles Blue were once again led by outsider hitters Pascale Doiron (Caraquet, NS) and Christelle Bertin (Beresford, NB) who were instrumental in the set, with five and four kills, respectively.
With the set tied at 23 apiece the Aigles Bleues put the set away with a service error from Dalhousie and an emphatic concluding kill from Tania Martin-Gagn (Quebec City, QC).
Heading into the fifth set the Tigers exhibited exactly why they are the U Sports number eight-ranked team in the nation, taking the final and deciding set 15-9.
The Tigers have their final home game of the year tomorrow evening versus the Saint Mary's Huskies, while the Aigles Bleues take on the UNB Varsity Reds Sunday, February, 12.