THUNDER BAY- SPORTS – It was a rollercoaster of a volleyball game Friday night in the Thunderdome, and luckily it ended on a high note for the home side, as Lakehead won 3-2 over the York Lions (26-24, 11-25, 11-25, 25-19, 15-6).
In set 1 Lakehead was slow to get going, as York pulled ahead 12-6 and was up 5, 16-11 at the technical timeout. The T-Wolves hung around until late in the set, with York up 23-18 they made a series of plays to go on a 8-1 run to win the first set in extra points.
The second and third sets were difficult to watch for Thunderwolf fans, who saw their team struggle early and eventually drop both by scores of 25-11. The bright spot in these sets was that coach Green had brought in his bench halfway through to give his veterans a break, once York had the 2nd and 3rd sets in hand.
After catching their breath and re-focussing, the Lakehead veterans came back strong in the 4th set, putting together a 9-0 run late in the game, thanks in part to great serving from Jasmine Fox, who forced several reception errors by York passers.
While the Lions were stunned in the 5th set, the Thunderwolves kept the energy rolling and getting their 5th regular season victory.
Jorie Daymond came up with big plays, collecting 20 kills and 7 digs on the game, while Jasmine Fox made 11 kills. Jen Casey came in the game in relief of Sarah Reid and made 8 kills and 11 digs.
Sara Hudson made 31 assists in the victory with 8 digs, while libero Breanne Hilhorst made 15 digs against a very intimidating York attack line.
York was led by Aleks Arsovic and Brittney Hopley with 12 points each.
Coach Chris Green describes the match, “We started as a team tonight, with the mantra to let it all hang out in our style of play. We did not start that way, and it was frustrating. I think that in the end the comeback in the first set was us making a conscious effort to attack their weaknesses and enjoy it.”
Green continued, “2nd set the girls seized up again, and in the 3rd set again. We changed our roster to try to get them to refocus. Then the game started to get to a point where it was being rubbed in their faces. We told the girls that we know their pride is better than that and not to accept that. LU picked up their intensity and focus and stood up bigger at the net. I was proud of them. I think York got a bit complacent and we jumped on that.”
In terms of individual performances, Green mentions, “Jen Casey came in and lit it up. We were proud of that, and then Sara Hudson started to have fun with her offence and that opened the game up. Breanne Hilhorst and Jasmine Fox, well they were honored along with Nicole Vercaigne before the game and they did their part with amazing defence and Jas’ offence. All in all we have to be proud of their awakening and focus. Everyone was entertained again! And we learned again that we are never out of it, if we just have a fun time with our flow and play the way we do in practice.”
The women will play their final game of the regular season tomorrow afternoon at 4:00pm against the Nipissing Lakers.
*This game also marks the annual ‘Spike for the Cure’ cancer research fundraiser game.*