Volleyball squad waves magic wand, leaves Rouge et Or feeling black and blue
Ashley Norfleet, a freshman from Brossard, Que., amassed 16 kills, a pair of stuff blocks and a team-leading 2.40 passing ratio as the visiting McGill women's volleyball team surprised No.7-ranked Laval 3-2 in a thriller at Centre PEPS, Saturday. In a lengthy two hours and seven minutes, the Martlets prevailed by set scores of 16-25, 27-25, 25-18, 15-25 and 16-14.
It marked the 12th lifetime regular-season victory ever against Laval for the Martlets and only the fifth in Quebec City. McGill also upset Laval in the rubber match of the RSEQ best-of-three semifinals last season.
“We’ve had some success against them over the last few years,” said Rachele Beliveau, head coach of the Martlets. “It took us a long time to learn how to play Laval but we are now more comfortable from a mental perspective and much more consistent when playing them.
“We moved Ashley up to the No. 4 spot (on the left side) instead of at middle blocker to create more offence and it worked quite well,” added Beliveau. “She did a really good job, both offensively and defensively.”
Sophie Dallaire and Esther Gilbert registered 17 and 15 kills, respectively for the division-leading Rouge et Or, who somehow lost despite a 59-47 advantage in kills, a 10-8 edge in service aces and an 83-62 margin in digs.
The supporting cast for McGill included junior power-hitter Marie-Christine Lapointe of St. Jean sur Richelieu, Que., and Virginie Hebert, a third-year middle blocker from St. Donat, Que. Lapointe had eight kills, three aces, 17 digs and three assisted blocks. Hebert added eight kills, three aces, a pair of digs and two assisted blocks.
Marcela Mansure, a fifth-year setter from Brazil, who was hampered by the flu bug, contributed 38 assists to go along with seven digs and two kills.
With four games remaining on their schedule, the fourth-place Martlets (8-8) are four points behind Montreal, who sit in the third and final playoff berth with a 10-5 record.
The Martlets get a two-week break and will resume play when they travel across Mt. Royal to take on the Carabins on Jan. 25. A win would keep McGill’s playoff hopes alive, while a loss would eliminate the Martlets from participating in the post season.
Laval, which sits atop the RSEQ conference with a 13-3 record, will host second-place Sherbrooke (12-3) on the same date.