THUNDER BAY – Solid play and drama were on the line in the Thunderdome as the Thunderwolves Women won in an exciting upset. In dramatic fashion, the women’s volleyball team gave their fans what they wanted – a win – on Saturday afternoon over the Nipissing Lakers, 3-2 (25-20, 25-14, 22-25, 24-26, 15-8).
Daymond, Reid and Macleod play final games in Thunderdome
The match began with a presentation to Lakehead’s graduating veterans, Jorie Daymond (Ottawa, Ont.), Sarah Reid (Murillo, Ont.) and Brittany Macleod (Winnipeg, Man.) who complete their final year of eligibility this season.
The three veterans would not disappoint on Saturday, as Daymond totalled 14 kills and 12 digs while Sarah Reid had 15 kills and 14 digs in the victory. Macleod, as always, was a steady force at the net and the service line all match long, and made 5 digs as well.
The first set went Lakehead’s way thanks to a late 5-0 run with the game tied at 19, giving an early edge to the T-Wolves, who followed that up with a convincing 25-14 2nd set victory.
The 3rd and 4th sets saw the Lakers get a hand or arms on nearly every volleyball around them, as the Thunderwolf attackers were rebuffed time and again. In the 4th set the Lakers trailed 19-13 before putting together 5-0 and 4-0 runs to tie the game at 20 and then take the lead 24-21, eventually holding on to force a 5th set.
Pushed to the limit, the Thunderwolves responded, for a second night in a row, and got ahead 8-5, and then limited the Lakers to 8 points to finish the regular season with a win.
Jasmine Fox was the leading scorer with 21.5 points (18 kills, 2.5 blocks, 1 service ace).
Sara Hudson kept the Lakehead offense running smoothly despite a NIpissing team that made 100 digs in the match. Hudson compiled 38 assists and 14 digs. Libero Breanne Hilhorst made 18 digs for Lakehead.
For Nipissing, Brittany Ardron led with 16 points (14 kills, 2 blocks), while Christina Caruso and Jade DeCoste made 19 digs each.
Coach Chris Green commented after the game, “Well congrats to Jorie, Brittany and Sarah as they complete their last games at LU in typical style. Full marks to Nippising as well. That may be the best defensive team in OUA. Mark has his girls playing amazing defence and consistent transition. They will not be lacking in the win column for long, those young ladies will be so much better from their experience this year.”
Green continued, “We played well and in the end won but showed our inability to finish, something that has haunted us. We managed to bail ourselves out, but again not enough soon enough. Now we will evaluate and move on and up.”
Of his local veteran, Green added, “Great work by Sarah Reid to carry the load tonight. She struggled against York but she recovered well today.”
*All of the information below is awaiting corroboration by the OUA*
With the win Lakehead places themselves into a 3-way tie for the last playoff spot in the OUA West with Brock and Western, all with 6-13 records.
According to tie-breaking rules, with all the teams owning 8 win, 8 loss set records in head-to-head match ups, the next tie break is points for and against among the three teams head-to-head match ups, which Lakehead appears to have the advantage in (361 points for, 344 against for a +17 rating), compared to Western (346 points for, 363 points against, -17 rating) and Brock 353 points for, 353 points against, even rating).