Martlets master Montreal, corral Carabins to collect rare road win over No.3 ranked UdeM
MONTREAL -- Ashley Norfleet scored 14.5 points and Catherine Amyot added 14 more as the unranked, visiting McGill women's volleyball team pulled off a rare victory with a stunning upset over the No.3-ranked Universite de Montreal, winning a 3-2 thriller at the CEPSUM gymnasium, Friday.
Success against the Carabins has been hard to come by for McGill. It marked the team's first road win at U de M since a 3-0 sweep on Nov. 17, 2013 and only their second conquest at the U de M campus since at least the 2005-06 season (records from that season are not available). Including playoffs and tournaments, the Martlets have won only six of the last 45 meetings overall.
In a match that took two hours and five minutes to play, McGill outlasted their cross-town rivals by set scores of 25-20, 21-25, 25-21, 20-25 and 17-15.
As a result, now one victory separates first place from last in the wild RSEQ conference with four dates remaining before playoffs. Montreal and Laval are perched precariously atop the standings with identical 11-3 records, while McGill and Sherbrooke are in arrears with similar 10-5 records.
"It was one of our best performances of the season, we played with a lot of intensity," said Rachele Beliveau, who has a 518-477-2 record overall in 997 contests during her 14 seasons as head coach of the Martlets. "We were intense right from the beginning and refused to let them intimidate us. We served and blocked quite well tonight. There was no quit in our game. We showed a lot of drive and second effort on every ball."
The Carabins held a huge 57-39 edge in kills, but only a slight 8-7 advantage in aces and a minimal 61-58 margin in digs. McGill had a 17-10 difference in stuff blocks.
Norfleet had nine kills and an ace on offence, to go along with nine digs and 4.5 blocks on defence. Amyot contributed a team-high 10 kills and four aces to go along with seven digs.
Clearly a good team victory, with two other Martlets also reaching double digits in the points column -- Myriam Robitaille (12) and Virginie Hebert (11.5). Robitaille collected seven kills and an ace with four blocks and a dig. Hebert had five kills, four digs and 6.5 blocks. Marie-Eve Dorion also contributed seven kills, an ace, 10 digs and 1.5 blocks.
Marie-Sophie Nadeau paced the Carabins with a game-high 19 points in a losing cause. She had 17 kills and a pair of blocks, in addition to a dozen digs.
The Martlets have three home dates and one road excursion remaining as they hone in on a berth in post-season play. McGill will host Montreal on Jan. 30, followed by Laval on Jan. 31. The following weekend, they will host Sherbrooke (Feb. 6) and travel to Laval (Feb. 7) to close out the RSEQ schedule.