After four consecutive road wins, the Badgers women’s volleyball team returned home to take on the Toronto Varsity Blues this past Sunday.
The No. 6 Badgers fought long and hard to remain undefeated but ultimately fell to the No. 4 Blues in five sets.
“We came out flat, we basically gave them the first and the third set,” said head coach Steve Delaney.
The game started off on the wrong foot for Brock, as the very first play of the game was a service error by the Badgers and things didn’t get much prettier. After some miscommunication let the ball drop in between all six Badgers to put the Blues up 8-4, the visitors did not look back and breezed by the first set, taking it by a score of 25-16.
The second set, saw the lead change eight times and the score tied six times. The Badgers bounced back to take the seesawing set 25-19. Brock went on a six point run to finish off the set.
Toronto took the third set 25-18, but Brock wasn’t going to give up easily. The Badgers gave it their all to push it to a fifth set, taking the fourth to the wire, edging out the Blues 26-24.
The game continued to be close in the fifth as the score was tied on eight different occasions. The Badgers ultimately lost the set 15-13 and the game 3-2, suffering their first loss of the season, bringing their perfect record to an end. Both teams moved to 6-1 records.
“We did battle hard to make it go five, was close, 15-13, in the end,” said Delaney. “We got stronger as a team today and we need to be in big matches like that against good teams and you know if the ball bounces another way, we could’ve had that match, so we made errors and it cost us but it’s good to know that we’re right there. We minimize those errors and the outcome would be different for us.”
The game saw rookie Gigi Markotic break out, posting team second bests 14.5 points and 12 kills, as well as being tied for the team lead in digs with 12 and aces with two.
“Gigi came in off the bench and did great for us, which is awesome to get that kind of play from a rookie,” said Delaney.
Her performance earned her player of the game honours.
“It felt great to be able to step up and contribute successfully, but we have to continue working hard and improving to get the job done,” said Markotic.
Laura Condotta led the team with 20.5 points and 17 kills, while adding 11 digs on defence. Darby Taylor had a strong all-around game with 12 points, 10 kills and 12 digs, while setter Emily Armstrong led with 46 assists and libero Aleiah Torres chimed in with 12 digs.
“It’s hard sometimes to look at a loss and be positive about it sometimes but I’m definitely proud of the girls and what they did today,” said Delaney.
Despite the loss, the Badgers remain atop the OUA West with 12 points. The Western Mustangs are close as they also have 12 points, however they have one more loss than Brock.
The Badgers will head to Waterloo this coming Saturday to take on the 3-3 Warriors and then head home to take on the 3-3 Guelph Gryphons in the Bob Davis Gym at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.