MONCTON, N.B. - The Axewomen volleyball team completed the AUS tournament, hosted by Moncton this past weekend with a 3-1 record, which included a 3-0 win against U SPORTS No. 3 ranked Dalhousie Losing only their first match of weekend on Friday against Moncton, Acadia picked up wins against Memorial and Saint Mary's on Saturday and wrapped up the weekend with a win against the first place and nationally ranked Dalhousie Tigers.
"This was the steadiest we have played since the start of our season. They played tough volleyball, grinding out points with a deeper level of emotional intensity. Playing 4 matches within less than 48 hours isn't easy and I have to attribute this to the work that our student-athletes do with our Assistant Coach, Josh Crouse who is also our Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach. I didn't notice fatigue at all over the course of the weekend," noted head coach Michelle Wood.
In the Axewomen's first match of the weekend against Moncton, the Aigles Bleus grabbed a 25-12 first set win, but Acadia bounced back in the second game with a 25-13 win.
A 25-23 third set loss to Moncton, set up another close loss 25-21 in the fourth and a 3-1 match defeat.
The team regrouped for two matches on Saturday, opening the day with a 3-2 match win in the morning against Saint Mary's. Acadia opened the match with two set wins including a 28-26 first game victory. In the second set, the Axewomen maintained a lead for the entire set, eventually capturing a 25-18 win.
The Huskies rebounded with 25-13 and 25-20 wins, pushing the match into a fifth and final set.
The Axewomen prevailed in the fifth game. A kill by Lauren Renzella broke a 7-7 tie, allowing the Axewomen to push out to a two point lead throughout the remainder of the fifth set and eventual 15-12 win.
In the 5:30 pm match against the Memorial Sea-Hawks, the Axewomen squeezed out a 27-25 first set win, but fell short in the second set with a 25-16 loss.
Acadia took a 2-1 match lead off of a dominating 25-6 win in the third set and captured the 3-1 match win on a narrow 25-23 fourth and final game victory. Lauren Renzella posted an Axewomen high 12 kills and first year outside hitter Lucy Glen-Carter added 11. Sea-Hawk Emma Hackett had a game high 14 kills.
"Offensively, Lauryn Renzalla had a kill percentage of 41%, and both Kailey Evans and Daniella Trodel were incredibly consistent throughout the entire weekend. Dani posting a .300 hitting efficiency or greater in 3 of the 4 matches and Kailey averaged 21 digs per match. We can't deny that a big part of our success this weekend came from 3rd year setter Regan Herrington who ran an exceptionally aggressive offense," noted Wood on the weekend wins.
Acadia wrapped up the weekend on Sunday with a dominating 3-0 win over the U SPORTS No. 3 ranked Dalhousie Tigers. Renzella once again was the key player with 15 kills and a hitting percentage of 0.433.
The Axewomen grabbed a 25-20 opening set win and continued to dominate play against the Tigers in the second game.
Tied at three, Sarah Ross broke the tie on a kill, but the Tigers fought back to tie the game at six before Daniella Trodel snapped the tie on her first of three second set kills. Acadia would maintain a lead throughout the remainder of the second set, posting a 25-18 win.
Tied at 20-20, the back and forth continued to a 25-25 tie. Daniella Trodel's two closing kills gave the Axewomen a 27-25 third set win and a 3-0 sweep of the Tigers.
"The win equals the same two points that we earn with any other win in the season. However, earning 3 wins in a row to round out the first half of our season definitely helps provide confidence and validation to our team that we are capable. After the win vs Dalhousie, our team was on board that winning this one match isn't our goal…winning a championship at the end of the season is," commented Wood following the team's win against Dalhousie.
The Axewomen improve to 5-4 and are tied for second place in the AUS standings with Memorial and Saint Mary's with 10 points. Acadia returns to the court after the holiday break on Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13 against visiting UNB.
When asked what she hopes to see the second half the season, Wood was frank.
"More of what we saw this past weekend!! We did the little things well and started to understand that volleyball isn't always played perfectly, so how can you generate points in out of system. Pulling from this past weekend, I would like to see our team play a more complete match balancing a deep level of focus while bringing emotional intensity," concluded Wood.