Women's volleyball set for AUS championship
Katya Sodamin - February 12, 2013
This weekend at the 2013 Subway AUS Championship hosted by Memorial University, Dalhousie’s women’s volleyball team will be looking for the perfect conclusion to their outstanding AUS season. It’s been an impressive year for the Tigers, who finished regular season play last weekend in first place with an overall 16-2 record. Not only are they currently on a 14-game winning streak, Dal has also not lost a set in nine games.
Focused on upcoming games
While the team’s success on the court the past few weeks has given them great momentum for the upcoming championship, the team remains focused on the future. Fifth-year captain and outside hitter Louise Facca says, “We know the AUS championship won’t be easy. Our record means nothing going into the weekend and in order for us to be successful we will have to focus on our side of the net and doing the things that we can control well.”
Facca has been a great leader for her team this season with a total of 33 services aces (second in AUS), 180 kills (third in AUS), and 226.5 points (fourth in AUS). “For four years it has been our goal to win the AUS title and we have fallen just short each year,” says the Aurora, Ont. native. “To play well and leave it all on the court to get that banner would be absolutely amazing.”
Graduating teammate and assistant captain Hilary Sears attributes the team’s success to consistent play, which she says comes from “hard work in practices and team chemistry off the court.” Sears contributed 491 assists (third in AUS) to her team’s play this season and has been a key component of Dalhousie’s attack.
Fifth-year Tigers head coach Rick Scott is eager to win his first AUS banner with the Tigers. “We have had a very good season and the team has done a great job staying focused and concentrating on the process of getting better individually and as a team,” says Scott. “We know the AUS championship will be a big challenge, but we are looking forward to it and motivated for the opportunity.”
Depth in the lineup
A number of athletes have stepped up for the black and gold this season, proving the Tigers have great depth in their lineup. In AUS statistics second-year middle Maggie Li is first in service aces (34), fourth in blocks (64) and fifth in points (225.5). Fourth-year Marlee Powers and second-year Tara Gowan have also contributed greatly with a total of 145 points each, while fourth-year Tarah-Lynn Truant has recorded 210 digs (sixth in AUS).
With a first place bye, Dalhousie has automatically advanced to the semifinal game on Saturday at 4:30pm where they will play the winner of Friday’s quarter-final match between UNB and StFX. Despite many close calls including last year’s loss in the championship game, the Tigers have not won an AUS championship since the 2004-05 season. It feels like this might be the year to change that record.
“To win an AUS championship in my graduating year would mean everything to me,” said Facca. “I can honestly say these past four years have been the best years of my life. My team has been there for me through everything and there would be no better feeling than to earn the AUS banner along side them.”
2013 Subway AUS Championship Schedule
Hosted by Memorial University in St. John’s, NL
Friday, February 15th
Quarter-final #1: UNB (4th) vs. StFX (5th), 6:00pm
Quarter-final #2: Moncton (3rd) vs. Memorial (6th), 8:00pm
Saturday, February 16th
Semifinal #1: Dalhousie (1st) vs. winner of quarter-final #1, 4:30pm
Semifinal #2: Saint Mary’s (2nd) vs. winner of quarter-final #2, 6:30pm
Sunday, February 17th
Championship Game: Semifinal winners, 2:00pm
*All games will be available LIVE online at www.AUStv.ca