PHOTO COURTESY OF HENRY ZHAO/THE VARSITY BLUES

On Friday, the Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team, ranked eighth nationally, swept the York Lions 30 to extend their winning streak to five. Having not dropped a set since February 1, the Blues continued their dominance in a swift three-set sweep at Kimel Family Field House in the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport.

Both the Blues and Lions came out strong offensively throughout the first set. Featuring short rallies from both sides, neither team was able to establish a lead beyond three points in the back-and-forth affair early on.

However, strong serving from the Blues allowed the team to distance themselves and establish a quick lead at 1610. Service aces from All-Canadian right-side hitter Alina Dormann and third-year left-side hitter Brianna Patrick, coupled with kills from second-year middle Jenna Woock, closed out the first set 2519.

York came out swinging in the second set, with kills from Lions’ outside hitters Sarah Williams and Olivia Kim pushing York ahead early with an eight-point lead.

Trailing at 157, the Blues made a key substitution that saw second-year setter Rayn Perry step onto court. Immediately, Perry threw York’s defense off guard with a deceptive dump, and her chemistry with middle hitter Woock quickly shifted the momentum.

The Blues came alive with an explosive 141 run, with impressive kills coming from Dormann and fifth-year veteran Anna Feore. Fourth-year middle hitter Anna Licht led with a game-high five blocks, as the Blues’ outstanding defense in the second set held the Lions to a poor .059 hitting percentage.

Pouring in tough serves after tough serves, the Blues capitalized on the stumbling Lions, who were unable to set up plays with their faulty first touches. Riding on momentum, the Blues managed to make a comeback, with another dump from Perry capping off the second set at 2520.

The third and decisive set saw the return of second-year setter Hayley Goodwin and featured multiple intense rallies. The Blues continued to execute well-practiced plays and displayed their tireless defensive work ethic, carving out an 1812 lead. Deadly swings by Dormann and back-to-back blocks posted by Woock and Licht proved too strong for the Lions, forcing two timeouts by York in the third.

Despite York’s efforts to regroup, the Blues easily took a 71 run to win the set at 2516 and close out the match.

Anna Feore led the game with an outstanding 0.526 hitting percentage in her 10-kill performance.

Alina Dormann continues to dominate the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference in her fourth season, as she posted a game-high with 13 kills, which put her atop the leaderboard for most kills in the OUA at 251 and the highest hitting percentage of the OUA at 3.92 kills per set. Dormann is making a strong case for herself to be the frontrunner of the OUA Most Valuable Player award and is poised to win the award for the second year in a row.

With the win against York, the Blues sit in second place of the OUA’s East Division. Having already clinched a playoff spot, the Blues can look forward to their hunt for the OUA title.

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