Blues women’s volleyball win Quigley Cup

Alina Dormann and Anna Feore lead Toronto to OUA championship

Blues women’s volleyball win Quigley Cup

Alina Dormann and Anna Feore did it again. For the third time in the past five seasons, the Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team hoisted the Quigley Cup, winning the 2018–2019 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Championship 3–0 in straight sets over the defending U SPORTS national champions, the Ryerson Rams.

Despite the dominant play by Dormann and Feore, the championship win was a true team effort. The Blues entered the match victorious in eight straight contests, a streak dating back to January 27.

Ryerson opened the first set with an 11–6 advantage over Toronto, as the Blues committed four attack errors. Blues second-year setter Hayley Goodwin assisted on five of Toronto’s six straight kills to close the gap to 14–12. Goodwin finished the match with 39 assists, while Dormann led all players with 17 kills, and Feore tallied 10 kills and 3 blocks.

Feore launched a kill that levelled the score at 15–15 and her block on the Rams’ following play saw the Blues take the lead. Ryerson was unable to reclaim the lead, and Toronto pulled away to win the set 25–20.

Toronto jumped out to an early 7–3 lead in the second set before their momentum was stopped by a Rams timeout. Nevertheless, a barrage of kills from Feore and Dormann, and two service aces from Demetra Maragos propelled the Blues to a 12–5 lead before Ryerson called their second timeout of the set.

Ryerson bounced back to level the score 15–15 after Dormann made consecutive attack errors and Rams third-year outside hitter Cailin Wark earned a kill. The Blues regained after Wark committed a service error.

The Rams pulled to within one point at 21–20 following back-to-back kills by Theanna Vernon and Sara Piana, but the Blues earned three consecutive points and Dormann finished off the set with a kill for a 25–21 set victory.

The third and final set was a back-and-forth affair as the Rams played tight, uninterested in being swept in straight sets. But Toronto broke away from Ryerson midway through the set, earning three consecutive points with a service ace from Maragos bookended by two kills from Anna Feore, forcing Ryerson to take a timeout.

The Blues’ lead ballooned to 20–15, but the Rams fought back, pulling to within a single point at 21–20.

Ultimately, Toronto proved to be too much for Ryerson as Brett Hagarty was unable to return Dormann’s serve, earning the Blues the OUA Championship and bragging rights over rival Rams.

Next up, the Blues will contend for the U SPORTS national championship this weekend in Edmonton, Alberta. The Blues last won the national championship in 2016, capping an undefeated season and closing out Feore’s rookie one.

Blues women’s volleyball earn trip to OUA semis

Dormann leads Blues in victory over Brock

Blues women’s volleyball earn trip to OUA semis

The Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team surged past the Brock Badgers in a 3–1 quarterfinal victory to earn a spot in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) final four. The Blues have extended their winning streak to seven and will be appearing in their eighth straight OUA final four.

The Blues jumped into the game with an 8–0 run, with fourth-year middle hitter Anna Licht serving three straight aces to stun the Badgers.

Dominant in their serving and defense in the first set, the Blues held the Badgers to a -0.43 hitting percentage while posting their own massive 0.406 hitting percentage, forcing the Badgers to blow their two timeouts. At the technical break, the Blues held a 16–6 lead, and continued to dominate and close out the lopsided set at 25–12.

The second set featured a neck-and-neck battle as both teams struggled to maintain a lead. Second-year middle Jenna Woock led front-row defense for the disciplined Blues with three blocks, while tenacious hustle and digs from third-year libero Sophia Currier and second-year setter Hayley Goodwin kept rallies alive.

Brock’s libero Laura Condotta matched the defensive effort from Toronto, leading the game with a game-high 17 digs. Heading into the technical timeout, the Blues managed to create a five-point separation thanks to fifth-year outside hitter Anna Feore’s off-speed tip, which threw off unsuspecting Brock defenders. The Badgers came back with a 6–1 run of their own, but varied attacks from Feore, along with back-to-back kills from fourth-year and all-Canadian Alina Dormann, put a stop to the Badgers’ run to help the Blues win the second set at 25–23.

On the edge of elimination, the Badgers stormed back in the third set, pulling into an 11–4 advantage. Brock’s enormous blocking game, led by Grace Pyatt and Darby Taylor, spelled trouble for Toronto’s hitting and reduced the Blues to a 0.026 hitting percentage in the third.

Tough serving from the Badgers resulted in poor first contacts from the Blues, which is critical for setting up plays. Having forced the Blues to play out-of-system, the Badgers were able to stay alive and close out the third set at 25–15.

The Badgers continued with their momentum swing, leading early in the fourth set with a 4–7 lead, and moving to 16–12 by the technical timeout. It seemed like the Badgers would force a fifth set, until Dormann and Feore stormed back with Goodwin to lead the Blues on a 9–3 run to even the score at 23–23 and draw loud cheers from the crowd.

A cross-court strike from third-year outside hitter Brianna Patrick, coupled with a hitting error from the Badgers ended the set at 26–24, sealing their season and sending the Blues into the OUA final four.

Despite trailing behind Brock until the very end of the fourth set, Toronto’s resilient and gritty performance, as well as clutch leadership from Dormann and Feore, proved the Blues to be a serious contender for the OUA title.

Dormann and Feore led the game with 17 kills each, while Goodwin posted an impressive match-high of 40 assists.

A win against the University of Waterloo women’s volleyball team in the OUA semifinal match on on Friday, March 8 would send the Blues to the Quigley Cup finals, the title championship for OUA women’s volleyball.

Blues women sweep rival York Lions in straight sets

Alina Dormann posts a game-high 13 kills and eight digs

Blues women sweep rival York Lions in straight sets

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.

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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