The Brock women’s volleyball team’s run at the national championships ended on Saturday, March 18.
The No. 2 Badgers lost 3-2 (21-25, 25-27, 25-16, 25-19, 9-15) to the No. 3 Mount Royal Cougars at War Memorial Gymnasium during the U SPORTS Women’s Volleyball Championships consolation semifinal.
Brock enjoyed a successful season that featured a conference-leading 18-2 record, a second consecutive Quigley Cup championship victory and a third trip in a row to the national championships.
Head coach Steve Delaney is encouraged by his team’s trajectory.
“We’re happy with what we did Saturday. We fought back. If we were cleaner, the outcome could have been different, but we just need get rid of the mental errors that cost us at key times,” Delaney said. “We’ve been here a few times, so we’re hoping that we can be a little more prepared with confidence and maybe a little luckier on the draw because we keep getting really tough teams out of the gate.”
Second-year right side Sadie Dick was named Player of the Match after leading the Badgers’ offence with 19 kills. The St. Catharines native registered a .405 attack percentage.
Senior setter Sara Rohr recorded 57 assists, which is the second highest mark of her career.
Middle Grace Pyatt scored 14 kills and second-year outside hitter Madison Chimienti netted 12 kills and 10 digs. Libero Aleiah Torres made 14 digs.
Mount Royal out blocked Brock 16-8 while the Badgers outhit the Cougars with a .319 hitting percentage (63-17-144). Mount Royal hit for .292 (57-19-130).
After trailing 2-0, Brock limited Mount Royal to a .032 kill percentage to battle back and win the third set. Dick notched five kills in the fourth as the Badgers won the set by six points.
However, the fifth set didn’t go Brock’s way.
“We’ve figured out what we need to do to win in Ontario, but when we come out to nationals, it’s a different level and we’re not going to get away with the same things we get away with at home,” Delaney said. “We made a number of mental errors and that cost us at key times. We need to be better mentally if we want to win matches against great teams.”
The Badgers have everyone returning next season, except for two players: middles Christina Jovetic and Grace Pyatt, who each stand six-foot-two.
“They’re big losses, figuratively and physically,” Delaney added. “It hurts to lose them, but their presence will be felt for years afterwards because of the impact they’ve had on the program.”