There was no shortage of excitement on Feb. 8 at the Lady Beaverbrook Gym. The St. Thomas University men’s volleyball team faced their fierce rivals the Holland College Hurricanes. It was a chance at a rematch after the past two ACAA finals.
The two teams split the opening two sets, while STU took the third for a 2-1 lead. In the fourth and final set, the Tommies held match point multiple times before captain Christian Christie ended the game with a spike over the left side of the net, winning the set 29-27 and the game 3-1.
The Tommies found themselves one point away from losing the fourth set after the teams went back and forth but were able to prevail and finish off the Hurricanes, getting a little help from the net as it caused an unusual deflection, throwing off players.
Head coach Henri Mallet said the energy from his team and the crowd was outstanding.
“The atmosphere was great today,” Mallet said.
Despite the energy and the win, Mallet wasn’t pleased with his team’s overall performance.
“[It] wasn’t our team. The passing wasn’t on, we weren’t efficient, we had stupid shots [that] made it way too easy on their block defense,” Mallet said.
The Tommies won the first set 30-28, a set similar to the final with back and forth scoring after the 25-point mark. Holland took the second set 25-20, while STU took the remaining sets 25-23 and 29-27.
The match included multiple long rallies, with players sliding across the floor in desperation, while STU made 70 digs throughout the game, 23 coming from fourth-year outside Nathan Brown.
Rookie outside Adam McDougall led the team with 16 kills, while Christie had 14 of his own.
Holland would rebound the following day, defeating the Tommies 3-1. The Hurricanes took the first, third and fourth set 25-23, 25-18 and 25-17 while STU won the second set 25-21.Dallas Melnick led the Tommies in kills with 13.