On Saturday, February 29 at 1:00 pm, the Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team took on the University of Waterloo Warriors at the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport in the quarterfinal of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs. Star players Alina Dormann, Hope Kotun, and Caleigh Cruickshank lead the Blues to a swift victory, blowing out the Warriors in a 3-0 sweep.
The Warriors started the game strong, taking an early 4–0 lead in the first set, catching the Blues team off-guard with their strong attacking and blocking skills by attackers Serena Otshudi and Karen Fan. Despite the energetic start from the Warriors, the Blues quickly rallied back with several great serves and hits by their fourth-year star, Dormann. The Blues consistently controlled the tempo during the set, and ultimately ran away with it by a score of 25–18.
During the second set, however, Waterloo came out strong, fighting to get back into the game. They took another quick 6–2 lead before the first timeout of the set. The Warriors kept a tight lead and did not let it slip away from them. Just when they were looking to close things out and tie the game, the Blues’ Cruickshank came up with a huge block that gave the team and the crowd some momentum. This is what ultimately led Toronto to tie the game, and eventually close out the game in the final moments. The Blues took a tough second set 25–22.
In the third and final set of the game, despite being down two sets, the Warriors persevered, trying to climb back into the game. They once again started strong, taking a slim lead going into the timeout period. However, the Blues were not looking to go into a fourth set. Jenna Woock came up with a massive block which gave the Blues a comfortable lead of 16–11, and they did not look back. Toronto went on to win the set 25–18, and the game on a final serve that led to celebration and cheer from the team and the crowd.
The Blues advance to the final four of the OUA playoffs, which will take place between March 6–7, hosted at the Goldring Centre. The Blues will take on the Western University Western Mustangs in the semifinals on Friday at 4:00 pm. The two semifinal winners will play for the OUA Quigley Cup, and will also go on to play at the 2020 U SPORTS championship on March 13–15 at the University of Calgary.