Blues women’s volleyball dominate in home opener

Alina Dormann’s strong performance leads Toronto to victory over Lakehead

Blues women’s volleyball dominate in home opener

On Friday, October 27, the Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team opened their 2017–2018 season against the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Coming out of an extremely successful 2016 season in which they became the first Ontario team to claim the national championship title since 1976­­, the Varsity women have very high stakes set for this season.

Blues left side hitter Emma Armstrong set the tone by opening the first set of the game with consistent and well-placed serves. The Blues called a timeout, ahead by a commanding 7–3 lead. The Thunderwolves started to gain after a serve from Toronto was lost, but the Blues kept their lead and closed the set with a 25–20 win.

Blues right side hitter Alina Dormann dominated the court in the second set, putting her strong and fierce kills on display. Her hits continued to account for Toronto’s on the scoreboard, as the Blues went on a quick 9–5 lead early in the set. The set ended with another kill from Dormann, pushing the Blues to a set win of 25–15.

The third set was fast-paced right off that bat. While libero Sophia Currier showed her refined skills through her amazing digs the entire game, she excelled in the final set as she saved multiple plays with her graceful dives. The constant communication from the Blues women put them up with a 16–12 lead. The final set ended in a 25–16 advantage for Toronto.

The game ended with a 3–0 set victory for Toronto to start the season with a solid win. After the success of last season, the Blues are looking forward with hope toward the possibility of ending with a postseason run.

Toronto will continue their hunt for a consecutive national title on November 3 at 8:00 pm against Trent University at the Addring Centre Kimel Field House.

Women’s volleyball wins OUA Team of the Year Award

Accolades and awards top off Blues' perfect season

Women’s volleyball wins OUA Team of the Year Award

The Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team recently won the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Team of the Year Award. The annual award is presented to a team that demonstrates athletic excellence and has a compelling story.

In the 2015–2016 season, the Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team were undefeated, winning all 19 of their regular season games and all six of their provincial playoff games against Ottawa, McMaster, and Ryerson.

The OUA title last season was in addition to 10 previous OUA titles that they have won in the history of the program. At the national level, the women’s team defeated three other teams, including defending national champs Trinity Western Spartans, to win the CIS national banner for the first time in program history.

Kristine Drakich was named OUA East Coach of the Year for the third season in a row, as well as OUA Female Coach of the Year. Right-side player Alina Dormann won the OUA East Division Rookie of the Year Award and the Player of the Year Award. Dormann, Madelyn Mandryk, Denise Wooding, and Bojana Radan were all named OUA all-stars.

While the team will lose four graduating players, the majority of the team is set to return next year. Drakich commented on the upcoming season: “Our hope is to build on this very special and magical season and be in a position to challenge for the national title again. This will not be easy but we are up for the challenge.”

Blues finish flawless season

Women’s volleyball finish 21-0

Blues finish flawless season

The Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team completed a perfect season on Saturday evening defeating crosstown rivals Ryerson Rams and successfully defending their OUA banner for the second year running.

The squad won 3-0 in the final match-up against the Rams at the Goldring Centre, marking their first perfect season in nearly 20 years.

The tournament started off slowly for the Blues, who were repeatedly rebuffed by the McMaster Marauders in game one of the OUA final four on Friday evening.

The Marauders, who have several players on the OUA’s individual leader board, came out hot from the start and took the first three points of the set in quick succession.

Despite hard hits from 6’1” left-side hitter Caleigh Cruickshank, the Blues couldn’t get a hand under strong serves from the Marauders’ outside hitter Joanna Jedrzejewska and hits from Maicee Sorensen. Plagued by what appeared to be championship nerves, the Blues dropped the first set 19-25.

A kill from rookie right-side hitter and OUA East Player of the Year Alina Dormann opened up the scoring in the second set, and the Blues finally began to look comfortable on the court. In a set characterized by the complete dominance of Cruickshank and Dormann, the Blues would maintain the lead throughout and finish the second set 25-16.

Despite opening the score in the third off a serve from Sorensen and a bit of back-and-forth play, the Marauders couldn’t pick up where they left off in the first and dropped the third set by six points to the Blues.

The match came alive in the fourth set; when both teams refused to give in. The Blues and Marauders battled back and forth over the lead for the duration of the thrilling set, which climbed to 30 points.

A huge kill from left-side Anna Feore would save the Blues, tying the set 26-26.

After regaining, and tying the lead twice more, Dormann brought the crowd to their feet by completing her nineteenth kill of the game — winning it all for the Blues in a spectacular 30-28 showdown. 

In a relatively anticlimactic match, the Blues didn’t disappoint in the OUA final against the Rams, taking all three sets (25–20, 25–20, 25–13).

The two teams went back-and-forth for the first two sets. Sneaky tips from fourth year setter Madelyn Mandryk and precise on-the-line kills from middle Tessa Davis helped the Blues break Rams all-star Theanna Vernon, who lead the OUA in kills per-set. 

Two consecutive aces from Dormann and a game ending kill from Feore in the third capped off the win for the Blues, who are currently ranked second in the nation. Third year middle Tessa Davis took a match high 12 points and nine kills and won OUA player of the game honours as well as championship MVP.

The Blues travel to Brandon University in Manitoba next weekend where they will be the only team to represent the OUA in the CIS national championships.

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