THUNDER BAY – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves women’s volleyball team pulled off an impressive 3-1 win over the Ryerson Rams on Sunday afternoon (25-11, 25-15, 22-25, 25-14). It was a very welcome result for the Lakehead faithful, who boisterously cheered on the T-Wolves as they took the floor and the early lead over a Rams team that seemed a step behind for much of the game.
Lakehead coach Chris Green commented, “This afternoon I am very happy for our women’s team. Sarah Reid had an amazing comeback game after struggling yesterday. Jasmine Fox, thrust into the middle this week, has been a consistent emotional and tactical part of this group. We built off of the Windsor match, last week, knowing we played well. We made too many errors yesterday and in planning for Ryerson last night, we demanded of each other to get our unforced errors under control. Ryerson had some tough and unique rotations”.
“We had to serve smart to try and control the stable of hitters they have, and LU was productive in that sense today.” Green concluded, “The girls deserve to feel the way they do right now, they have earned this and know it was a long time coming. We have to build on it and get ready for a top 5 OUA team next week vs Western.”
Lakehead jumped out to a quick 2-set-to-nil lead thanks to some inspired setting by Sara Hudson, who used her middle hitters, Brittany MacLeod and Jasmine Fox, to disperse the Rams’ defense at the net. In turn, MacLeod and Fox rewarded their setter with efficient hitting and blocking, each getting 5 kills on the day.
Left side Sarah Reid, who had been benched for the final 2 sets of Saturday’s loss to Toronto was given the chance to play through the entire match today, making good on the opportunity and coming up with big hits, both through and off the hands of the Rams’ blockers to push Lakehead towards the 25 point mark. Reid led the T-Wolves with 12 kills today with 2 errors on 24 attempts (.417 efficiency) and added 16 digs in a terrific all-around effort.
The success of Reid on the the left side and LU’s middles made for many more opportunities for Lakehead’s ‘go-to’ hitters, Jorie Daymond and Vanessa Chorkawy, to do what they do best, each racking up 11 kills. Daymond would also make 17 digs on the day, and Chorkawy was a force at the net with 2 stuff blocks and 2 block assists to finish with a game-high 14 points.
Sara Hudson got 30 assists on the game to go with 8 digs and 1.5 blocks. Libero Breanne Hilhorst, showed once again floor leadership beyond comparison, making 19 digs as well as 4 assists on the game.
For the Rams, Chelsea Briscoe led with 12 kills and 2.5 blocks for 14.5 points on the day. Setter Lauren Ebenhardt had 29 assists, while libero Emily Varga had 12 digs. Emily Nicholishen was also a big factor for the Rams, with 8 kills on 41 attacks with 10 digs.
With the win, the T-Wolves record improves to 2-7, while the Rams now sit at 5-2.
The women are on the road versus Western University next weekend.