Carabins spoil "seniors soiree"; Volleyball Martlets face must-win showdown in Sherbrooke, Sunday
MONTREAL -- Marie-Sophie Nadeau scored a game-high 19 points and was one of four Carabins to reach double figures, as No.3-ranked Montreal defeated McGill 3-1 in women's volleyball at Love Competition Hall, Friday. The set scores were 25-11, 25-19, 22-25 and 25-19.
The result, which put a damper on "Seniors Night" for three graduating Martlets, means that McGill will face a "do-or-die" game in Sherbrooke, Sunday (Feb. 2), to close out the regular season schedule.
The third-place Martlets (10-8) will travel to the Eastern Townships to take on the fourth-place Vert & Or (9-9) at the Pavillon Univestrie sports complex in a 1 p.m. winner-take-all affair for the final playoff berth in the RSEQ conference.
"We got off to a very slow start once again," said McGill head coach Rachele Beliveau."Either we are really on our game from the start or we a completely off. There seems to be no middle ground and I don't really have an answer."
The Carabins had a 59-36 edge in kills, an 11-5 advantage in aces, a 10-8 margin in blocks and a 93-72 difference in digs.
"If you're going to beat a strong team like the Carabins, you have to put more pressure on them with tough, riskier serves to reduce their chances of returning the ball. We were not able to do enough of that today, especially over the first two sets."
Sophomore Ashley Norfleet of Brossard, Que., led all McGill scorers with 15 points, on the strength of 13 kills and two stuff blocks to go along with eight digs.
Marie-Christine Lapointe of St. Jean sur Richelieu, Que., contributed nine points for the Martlets, with five kills, four service aces and four assisted blocks. She also collected 17 digs, matching teammate Daphnee-Maude Andre-Morin in that department.
Lapointe, a kinesiology senior, was playing in her last regular season home game, along with Andre-Morin, an education major from Kitchener, Ont., and team captainGenevieve Plante, a kinesiology student from Montreal. All three, each of whom could return for a fifth year of eligibility, were presented with flowers after the contest.
If Sherbrooke defeats McGill on Sunday, that would leave both teams with a final record of 10-9 and the Vert & Or would hold the head-to-head tie-breaker with three wins in four regular-season meetings. Should McGill prevail in Sherbooke, the Martlets would have more victories and finish ahead, in the final playoff position. The bitter rivals have split their four previous meetings during the 2013-14 campaign but the first rendezvous was a 3-2 win over Sherbrooke in preseason play at Ottawa. Over the regular season, the Martlets suffered a 3-1 loss at Sherbrooke on Nov. 8, followed by a 3-2 loss at McGill (Nov. 15) and a 3-2 home-court victory on Jan. 12.
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