(HALIFAX, N.S.) The Dalhousie Tigers defeated the UNB Varsity Reds 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 22-25, 25-19, 15-9) Saturday afternoon at the Dalplex. The Tigers finish the season atop the AUS with a 16-1 record, while the Varsity Reds finish the season with an 8-9 record, their first losing record since 2008-2009. The Tigers 16-1 record is their best since 2006-2007, when the team posted an 18-1 record.
The win also pushes the Tigers win streak to eight games, while the Varsity Reds lost three of their last five games to finish the season.
Kristen O'Brien led the Tigers with a monster 20 kill and 14 dig performance, while Matthew Donovan added 14 kills and Alex Dempsey added 12 of his own. Libero Adam Sanderson had a game-high 23 digs in the win.
Bryan Duquette, who led the AUS in kills this year, finished with ten kills and eight digs. Eivind Andersen had 19 kills to lead the Varsity Reds in the loss, while Mathieu Losier had a team-high nine digs. Ryan Colpitts, who finished second to Duquette for the league lead in kills, finished with 12 kills and four digs.
The Tigers opened up a 9-4 advantage in the first set, and held the lead as the teams battled back and forth for the rest of the set as the Tigers took the first set 25-19.
In the second set, the Varsity Reds opened up a 16-11 lead, but the Tigers fought back to narrow the gap to one as they trailed 20-19. The Varsity Reds wouldn't let the Tigers back into the game as they held on to take the set 25-22.
The Tigers took another early advantage in the third set as they led 11-6. The Varsity Reds responded with three straight points, prompting Tigers head coach Dan Ota to call a timeout.
Momentum began to swing in the Varsity Reds' favor and Cody Timmons had two straight service aces as the Varsity Reds took a 20-19 lead. They'd hold the lead for the rest of the set as they took the set 25-22.
In the fourth set, the Varsity Reds held a 3-1 lead early but the Tigers came back and never gave up the lead as they took the set 25-20 to force a fifth and final set.
The final set was tense between the two fierce rivals, but the Tigers outlasted the Varsity Reds and Tristen Burridge's service error sealed the Varsity Reds' fate as they fell 15-9 in the final set.
The teams will meet again next Saturday when they square off in the first game of the 2015 Subway AUS Championship. The first game will get underway at 6:00pm at the Dalplex.
With files from Dalhousie Sports Information