Badgers advance to U SPORTS consolation bracket

The No. 2 Brock Badgers will move on to the consolation bracket after falling 3-1 (25-18, 19-25, 25-27, 20-25) to the No. 7 University of British Columbia Thunderbirds at War Memorial Gymnasium in the quarter-finals of the U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championships on Friday, March 17.

The Badgers will play the loser of No. 6 Manitoba versus No. 3 Mount Royal on Saturday, March 18. Details to follow.

Grace Pyatt was named Brock’s Player of the Game. She scored 16 kills on 26 swings for a .577 attacking percentage. The senior middle added three blocks and three assists.

The Badgers won the first set in convincing fashion as they hit for .429 (18-3-35) while holding UBC to .176 (11-5-34).

“I told them after the game we played a set and a half of some of the best volleyball I’ve ever seen us play. It was great,” said head coach Steve Delaney. “We had the momentum and then at the end of the third set we started getting tight and unfortunately that carried over into the fourth.”

After dropping the second set, the Badgers began to rally in the third before the Thunderbirds pulled away by three points.

Brock second-year outside hitter Laurin Ainsworth led all players with 22 kills. She added five digs, three blocks and two service aces.

Ainsworth threw down nine kills in the first set at a clip of .615 attacking percentage.

She had 16 after the Thunderbirds tied the match up in the second set.

“Laurin was our Most Improved Player last year and she has transitioned to a new position at university because she was basically a middle before she arrived at Brock,” Delaney said. “I’m super proud of the way she’s developed in her two years that she’s been with us, and I think she’s only going to get better.”

Libero Aleiah Torres and outside hitter Emily Foest posted 13 and 11 digs, respectively. Torres chipped in four assists and Foest contributed nine kills.

“I’m proud of what we did. At times, we looked like we were just going to walk away with it, but when we’re playing the home team in their gym, there’s momentum that can switch as we know that happened last week in our gym, in our favour,” Delaney said. “This time it happened against us. It’s tough, but we must be able to regroup.”

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