The Brock Badgers are heading to the U Sports national championships for the first time in program history.
This is one of many accomplishments that the Badgers have achieved over the course of this season that will go down in Brock Sports history. The Badgers went 16-6 over the regular season and for the first time since the 1990-91 season they advanced past the quarter finals to make it to the OUA final four.
The Badgers defeated the Guelph Gryphons in the semi-final 3-0. They took the first set 25-22 before dominating the Gryphons in the second and third sets. They took the second 25-16 and the third 25-15.
Emily Armstrong earned player of the match honours and put up 21 assists, driving the Badgers’ offence. Darby Taylor led the team with seven kills. Grace Pyatt and Laura Condotta weren’t far behind with five and six kills, respectively.
After the Badgers took the first set, victory was within sight. Taylor earned the Badgers a seven point lead midway through the second. They took a nine point lead in the third and that was it for the Gryphons.
The Badgers would face the defending champions, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the final, guaranteeing them at least a second place finish, good enough to send them to Calgary for the U Sports championships.
The Blues would ultimately take the match 3-0, spurred on by the energy of a home crowd; the title marks their 12th OUA championship in program history, including back to back championships in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and a national championship in 2015-16.
It was Brock’s first appearance in the gold medal game in program history. The Blues started off strong, winning the first set 25-16. The Badgers found their rhythm in the second set but ultimately fell 25-23. They played a high energy back and forth third set, keeping the Blues on edge, tying things up at 29-29 before the Blues were able to get ahead and take the set 31-29.
The Badgers will have a shot at redemption sooner rather than later. The U Sports seeding puts the Varsity Blues at No.2 and the Badgers at No.7, meaning that they’ll be playing each other in the quarter final game. The rematch will take place on March 13.