The Tigers split a pair of games this week as they slipped into a tie with Cape Breton for fourth in the AUS with a 9-9 record.
On Tuesday, the Tigers took on the last-place StFX X-Men in a pivotal four-point game. After holding a slim one-point lead at halftime, the Tigers used a huge 23-12 fourth quarter to roll past the X-Men 84-70. Team-leading scorer Kashrell Lawrence led the Tigers with 32 points and 11 rebounds, while point guard Ritchie Kanza Mata notched 13 assists, nine points and four steals. Rookies Cedric Sanogo and Sean Dodds came up big off the bench, chipping in 13 and 11 points, respectively.
They were in tough against the first-place UNB Varsity Reds at home on Saturday in another big four-point game.
After the Varsity Reds opened up a four-point lead to end the first quarter, the Tigers rattled off a 25-14 second quarter as they held a seven-point lead going into halftime. The Varsity Reds came back in the third quarter, and trimmed the Tigers lead to just two points going into the final frame.
The Varsity Reds took over in the fourth, as the Tigers only shot 25% from the field as the Varsity Reds came away with the 85-76 victory, dropping the Tigers to .500 on the season. Lawrence led the Tigers again with a team-high 22 points on 8-9 shooting from the field, and he grabbed seven boards. Jarred Reid added 12 points, three boards and assists in the loss.
The Tigers will finish off their season with a two-game set at home next weekend against the Cape Breton Capers. The Capers are currently tied with the Tigers for fourth place in the AUS. The Capers won both games between the teams so far this year.
The Tigers notched wins in both of their games this week as they improved to 12-6 on the season after winning three of their last four games. They now sit in a tie with UPEI for first-place in the AUS with two games remaining in the season. Both of the Tigers contests this week were also four-point games.
On Tuesday, the Tigers faced the last-place StFX X-Women. After opening up a 24-6 lead after the first quarter of play, the Tigers kept their foot on the gas pedal as they came away with a 75-58 victory. The Tigers played solid defence all game along and they limited the X-Women to shooting just 30.6% from the field. AUS leading scorer Courtney Thompson led the Tigers with 30 points as she went a perfect 12-12 from the charity stripe. Tessa Stammberger went 5-9 from the field as she dropped 17 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.
On Saturday the Tigers tipped off against the UNB Varsity Reds. They held a slim five-point lead going into halftime, but they turned on the jets in the second half and came away with a 63-48 win after outscoring the Varsity Reds 34-22 in the second half. The Tigers forced the Varsity Reds to commit 30 turnovers and they scored 28 points off those turnovers. Thompson again led the Tigers with 26 points, while Shalyn Field had a huge game off the bench with 12 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.
The Tigers will look to hold onto first place in the AUS as they finish off their season at home next weekend with a two-game set against the Cape Breton Capers.
The Tigers played their way into a playoff spot as they finished regular season on Wednesday with a 4-1 win over the Mount Allison Mounties in Sackville, N.B., despite being outshot 37-20.
After a scoreless first period that saw the Mounties pour 13 shots on Jessica Severeyns, the Tigers opened up a two-goal lead in the second period after Megan Ross and Elizabeth MacArthur found the back of the net.
Leading 2-0 going into the third period, Morgan Kidney padded the Tigers lead with a goal four minutes into the third to make it 3-0. The Mounties added one late, but MacArthur added her second of the game in the final minute as the Tigers cruised to a 4-1 win to finish their season with a 10-12-2 record as they sit fifth in the AUS.
The Tigers will now face the fourth-place St. Thomas Tommies in a best of three game series as they begin their AUS playoff run. The two teams split their season series this year, each earning a pair of victories. The first game will get underway in Fredericton on Tuesday at 7:00pm.
The Tigers got tired of trading AUS championships with the Varsity Reds.
They came away with their second consecutive AUS championship this weekend as they defeated the UNB Varsity Reds on the road 3-1 (15-25, 26-24, 25-12, 25-13). After dropping the first set, the Tigers grinded out a 26-24 second set win before putting away the Varsity Reds with force in the final two sets.
Kristen O'Brien was named the championship MVP and he had nine kills and eight digs in the deciding match. AUS MVP Bryan Duquette had 14 kills in the win, while libero of the year Adam Sandeson led the Tigers with 17 digs.
It was a fitting end of the AUS season for the Tigers, who dominated Atlantic competition with a 16-1 record. They'll now set their sights on the CIS championship, which will take place at the University of Saskatchewan from February 26-28.
At the start of the season, the headlines surrounding the women's volleyball team were about the departures of highly regarded veterans.
At the end of the season, the headlines will say just one thing: AUS champions.
The Tigers entered the championship as the second seed, behind the Saint Mary's Huskies. They opened the championship with a semifinal clash against the host Varsity Reds. After the Tigers won the first set 25-16, the Varsity Reds stormed back, taking the next two sets 25-21 and 25-22 as the Tigers were within one set of elimination.
They came back with authority, and they dominated the next set, winning 25-9 to even the game up at two sets apiece. The Tigers finished off the game strong, and won the fifth set 15-12 to take the game 3-2. Anna Dunn-Suen had a monster game for the Tigers, posting a game-high 23 kills and 17 digs, while rookie sensation Mieke Dumont had 20 kills and 18 digs.
The semifinal win set the Tigers up for a championship final clash against their cross-town rivals the Saint Mary's Huskies, who they'd beaten convincingly 3-1 in the final game of the regular season.
After splitting the first two sets, the Tigers pulled away and took the last two sets as they put away the Huskies 3-1 (25-19, 24-26, 25-21, 25-20) to take their third consecutive AUS championship. Dunn-Suen was named the tournament MVP and an all-star with another stellar performance with 14 kills and 18 digs. AUS Libero of the year Marisa Mota had a game-high 22 digs in the game, while Subway player of the game Julie Thiesen had seven kills and 18 digs. Setter Abby Czenze was all named to the tournament all-star team.
The Tigers will now shift their attention to the 2015 CIS Championship at the University of Toronto, which will be held from February 26-28. They'll look to build on last year's fourth-place finish.
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