The Toronto Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team finished off second in the OUA East division with a 15-4 record. Entering the match, the Blues women’s overall regular season record spanned an impressive seven consecutive victories. They had last been defeated on January 27.
On Saturday, the Varsity Blues defeated the Guelph Gryphons 3–2 (22–25, 25–19, 25–21, 24–26, 15–4) to continue their winning streak in a quarter-final match at the Goldring Centre, a back and forth affair that went to a tiebreaker fifth set.
Third-year right side hitter Alina Dormann continued to be an enormous catalyst for the Blues and set the tone by opening the first set with a kill. Both teams got off to a strong start, and the score soared an early 7–5 for the Gryphons. Despite the great offensive play from the Blues, Gryphon middle hitter Libby Donevan’s abilities in hitting deep lines allowed the Gryphons to take the first set with a score of 25–22.
The Blues took the first point of the second set with a kill from first-year middle hitter Jenna Woock. She received a substantial amount of playing time in the game, executing a strong performance by consistently hitting quick sets. The Blues continued to pull ahead through the set, driving the score to 18–10. The second set concluded with the Blues defeating the Gryphons 25–19.
In the third set, Blues right side hitter Dormann dominated the court, putting her fierce kills on display. Her hits continued to account for Toronto on the scoreboard, and the Blues reached a 13–9 lead. Toronto first-year setter Rayn Perry accumulated multiple assists and did not disappoint in putting up accurate sets. After the timeout from Guelph at 19–12, the Blues extended their lead and won the set 25–21.
The fourth set featured multiple dynamic rallies, and Gryphons left side Michaela Hellinga exhibited strong blocks and multiple kills. The performance of the Gryphons showed no lingering effects from their defeat in the last two sets. Despite the early 6–1 lead for the Blues, the Gryphons battled back with tenacity, inducing the Blues to call for a timeout at 23–21. Following the timeout, the Gryphons played with great fluidity and finished the set with a score of 26–24 in their favour.
The Blues did not allow their defeat in the previous set to affect their performance in the tiebreaking fifth set. As the Gryphons started to lose momentum, the Blues continued to display their well-practiced hits and cohesive teamwork, taking an early lead of 8–3. Toronto’s Anna Licht used her height to her advantage and scored three points with her well placed dumps over the Gryphon blockers. An ace from Blues Veronica Derylo sealed the fifth set with a 15–4 victory for Toronto.
The Blues will continue their hunt for an OUA title next Friday in the semi-finals against McMaster University.