The UNB Varsity Reds women's volleyball team struggled with a case of the nerves but managed find their way to a straight set win in their regular season opening game against UdeM's Aigles Bleues.
UNB head coach Jilliane Goulet says that although they took the match 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-23), it definitely felt like a five-setter out on the court.
"We had to fight tooth and nail to get the win," she said. "Every time we pulled ahead, they clawed back, and full kudos to UdeM for fighting as hard as they did."
This is UNB's first match after a few weeks off, which Goulet says may have contributed to some undue nerves. Although UNB came out strong, they traded point for point with UdeM throughout the game and struggled to get any real momentum.
This is a very young squad, and one Goulet says will only improve as they get more games under their belt. But she's careful to add that the team's relative youth does not equal inexperience. In the third set, it was another new player, Claire Richard, who helped the V-Reds finish aggressively.
"Claire went in strong. She went in just sort of fearless, and I think that helped the general morale, just having another fearless player out there."
Player of the Game was awarded to Victoria Eadle, who Goulet says led the charge in terms of staying aggressive and finding ways to score.
"Just a really solid game from her. And that's what we expect from her," Goulet said. "We know that she's a stand-out player. She's a pretty incredible athlete, and that's why she's here. It's nice to see that she's coming out and having a game like that on her very first game."
The Varsity Reds play next on Saturday, November 1, when they host Dalhousie at 6pm.
Les Aigles Bleues host Acadia the same day at 7pm.