(HALIFAX, NS) In the first match of a back to back weekend series, one that turned into a marathon five-set affair, the Dalhousie Tigers beat the UNB Reds 3-2.
The teams traded kills early, but the Tigers were able to string a run of five points in a row together to take an early 10-5.
The Reds were able to make a run of their own soon after, with their size at the net being a major factor. Brad Stewart (Wolfville, NS) got in on two blocks and picked up a kill as the Reds climbed back into the lead.
At the technical break, the Reds led 16-13.
The teams needed extra points to decide the set and set point changed hands eight times during the extra points, but the Reds were the ones who were able to string two points together with blocks from Erik Kodrič (Lubljana, Slov.) and Stewart sealing the win at 32-30.
With the second set tight early, the Tigers got out to a lead before the technical break with some great serving from Graham Schmuland (Calgary, AB), picking up back to back aces.
The Reds refused to go away late in the set, but the Tigers were able to finish it off with a crafty kill from setter Malachy Shannon (Halifax, NS) to make it 25-19, evening the match 1-1.
The Tigers took the third set 25-17.
The teams traded points early in the fourth set, with Connor McConnell (Hanwell, NB) collecting a kill and service ace early for UNB.
The Reds held the lead at the technical break, 16-15, on kills from McConnell and Tynan Murphy (Montague, PE).
The Reds looked threatening late in the set with Kodrič and Bradley Merryweather (New Maryland, NB) getting in on three huge blocks to put them up 22-19.
The Tigers fought to stay in the set, but the Reds hung on to win 25-22.
The Tigers got off to a great start in the final set on the serving of Kobe Shannon (Halifax, NS) and kills from Schmuland as they led 8-3 at the end change.
The Tigers kept growing that lead and a service error by the Reds gave the Tigers a 15-8 win in the final set and the 3-2 victory.
Eduardo Luchese (Bento Goncalves, Braz.) had 15 kills and 12 digs for the Reds, while Dal's Schmuland finished with a game-high 18 kills, 6 service aces, and 4 blocks to earn Subway Player of the Game honours.
The two teams will be back on the court Saturday for a 3:30pm first serve.
RECAP BY: Kirk Jessome/for Dal Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Carter Hutton/HFX Collective