Dalhousie to face UNB in Subway AUS Championship battle
Katya Sodamin - February 13, 2013
After graduating the majority of the team last year, and adding 12 new faces to the roster for 2012-13, no one could predict how the Tigers season would turn out. With AUS-rival UNB boasting an experienced team many fans likely feared the worst, but the young black and gold squad put together a stellar season, finishing first in the AUS with an 11-6 record.
A young, but talented team
There is no doubt that the team has had its fair share of ups and downs this year, but it is clear that they’ve learned quickly and capitalized on their opponents’ weaknesses. Team captain Bryan Duquette says that one of the keys to their success was their sports psychologist Andrew Ling. “An exercise that we completed together was to create a team slogan. It really helped us embrace our team identity as the underdog.” The Tigers slogan is HEART, which stands for Hustle, Excellence, Attitude, Resilience and Team.
Duquette, a third-year outside hitter, has posted 114 digs (first in AUS), 157 kills (fourth in AUS), and 200.5 points (fourth in AUS) for the Tigers this season. Another stand-out on the court this year is second-year outside hitter Alex Dempsey, who finished regular season play second overall in points (230.5) and kills (204), and fifth overall in digs (94). Rob Johnson, a second-year setter, also stepped up for his team this year contributing 374 assists (second in AUS). After the December holiday Australian exchange student Carsten Moeller joined the team and quickly settled in to tally 232 assists (fifth in AUS) in only seven games of the 17-game season.
“Our team has embraced the underdog role this year,” says Dalhousie head coach Dan Ota. “The players have really committed themselves to what we’ve asked them to do. There have been bumps along the way, but anyone who has watched our team has seen how we’ve progressed and now we’re exactly where we want to be.”
Defending the title
It is no secret that a strong rivalry exists between the Varsity Reds and Tigers as they have come head-to-head at the Subway AUS Championship for numerous seasons. While Dalhousie has earned 25 titles in the past 26 years, each year seems more exciting than the last as the battle ensues on the court. As the defending AUS champions, this season the black and gold will have to play with HEART to stay at the top of the conference and earn their place at the CIS championship hosted by Université Laval March 1-3.
2013 Subway AUS Men’s Volleyball Championship Schedule
Friday, February 15th
Game one: UNB @ Dalhousie 7pm
Sunday, February 17th
Game two: Dalhousie @ UNB 7pm
Friday, February 22nd (if necessary)
Game three: UNB @ Dalhousie 7pm
*All games will be available LIVE online at www.AUStv.ca
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