WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The Axewomen volleyball team snapped a nine game losing streak with a 3-1 match win over the third place Saint Mary's Huskies.
The Axewomen, who were eliminated from the post season several weeks ago, improve to 4-15 with a hard fought match against the Huskies who came into tonight's contest with a 10-7 record.
Acadia led for the entire opening set, pushing out from an 8-6 lead to 16-6 after five service aces by Peyton DeWolfe (Bridgewater, N.S.), combined with a Huskies' attack error, a bad set and finally a ball handling error.
The Huskies closed the gap to a 23-17 Acadia lead. The Axewomen eventually won the game 25-17.
Trailing Saint Mary's in the opening of the second set, the Axewomen rallied back to tie the game at 11. A block by the Subway Player of the Game, Hannah Helm (Halifax, N.S.), gave Acadia their first lead at 14-13. Acadia would close out the set with a Lauryn Renzella (Stouffville, Ont.) service ace and a 26-24 win.
Saint Mary's would hold onto the lead for the most part of the third set until the Axewomen tied the game at 19. From 19 points onward it was a see-saw affair with the Huskies eventually grabbing a 25-22 win on a Kristina Alder (Brampton, Ont.) kill and an Acadia attack error.
Down 7-3 in the opening minutes of the fourth game, the Axewomen rallied back to tie the fourth and eventual final set at 10. With a 16-14 Huskie lead, Acadia tied the game at 16 and worked their way to a 23-20 lead and eventual 25-22 win capped by a Hannah Helm kill.
"We emphasized defense this week in practice, especially with hard driven balls and adapting our positioning to some of SMU's specific hitters," commented senior middle Fiona McGuinty (Ottawa, Ont.), after the match. "At the net, we trained really hard this week on blocking as well which I think paid off during the game."
On a nine game losing streak, McGuinty pointed out it has been difficult for the team. "It has been a tough few weeks - but our effort levels have noticeably increased in practice.".
Adding, "We're working on lots of pressure situations as well. I'm really happy with our results tonight because it demonstrates that we're ready to keep improving and fighting no matter what."
Axewomen Peyton DeWolfe and Lauryn Renzella led Acadia with seven kills each. Helm added 4 timely kills and two service aces. DeWolfe had a team high five service aces in the opening set. DeWolfe, Micaela Sabean (Bridgewater, N.S.) and Kailey Evans (St. Andrews, Man.) shared the defensive digs with 20, 16 and 23 respectively.
Huskie Kristina Alder posted a game-high eight kills and added 18 digs. Teammate Erica Dowling (Lower Sackville, N.S.) also had eight kills and 14 digs.
The Axewomen wrap up the 2016-17 season at home next Sunday February 19 afternoon at 2:00 p.m. against the visiting first place Dalhousie Tigers, while the Huskies head to Dalhousie tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m.