Photo By: Stephen Leithwood

Brock’s women’s volleyball team made their long-awaited return to the Bob Davis Gymnasium on Saturday night. After a spectacular 2019-20 season, the team returns looking to make their mark once again in a competitive OUA West. 

The Badgers’ first on-court action in 603 days was filled with even more anticipation than usual for a season opener. The sold-out crowd of 400 fans at Bob Davis was electric, and helped lift the team to a 3-0 win over the Guelph Gryphons. 

Second-year outside hitter Sadie Dick led the way in her first ever set with the Badgers. Dick racked up seven kills, while rookie outside hitter Emily Foest followed closely behind with five. After a back-and-forth start between the two teams, the Badgers took control. 

After Guelph knotted things up at 7-7, Brock went on a run to capture nine of the next 12 points to take a 16-10 lead. Following a quick 3-0 run from the Gryphons, the home team regained their composure and came out of the timeout to go on another big run. A final kill from Dick on an assist from third-year setter Sara Rohr gave Brock the set point. The Badgers took the first set 25-16. 

The second set of the game was defined by a late comeback from the Badgers. After Brock jumped out to an early 13-8 lead, the Gryphons bounced back to grab 13 of the next 17 points, putting Brock in a 21-17 hole as the set neared its end. Strong play by Rohr, as well as first-year left side Madison Chimienti led a 6-0 run from the Badgers. A familiar sight for the set point saw Dick delivering the final kill from Rohr once again. Brock took the second set 25-23. 

The third set would go on to be the closest yet, as neither team held a lead of more than four points. With the two teams deadlocked at 21-21, Brock capitalized on two errors from the Gryphons, and added one kill each from Chimienti and Foest to finish the set. Brock won the third and final set 25-23 to complete the sweep of Guelph and open the season 1-0. 

Dick was awarded the Ironwood Player of the Game after she finished the evening with 13 kills and a .440 winning percentage to lead the team. Other standout players included Rohr with 34 assists and three aces, Foest with 10 kills, Chimienti with nine, and senior middles Grace Pyatt and Christina Jovetic with six and seven kills, respectively. 

Elsewhere in the OUA West, McMaster travelled to Thunder Bay and defeated Lakehead by a score of 3-0 in two straight games. The Marauders take an early lead in the OUA West standings, while Brock holds the second place spot for now as they await more teams to begin their seasons this coming week. 

Next up for the Badgers is a two-game mini-series against the McMaster Marauders. The teams will play at Bob Davis on Friday night at 6 p.m., before heading to Hamilton on Sunday for a rematch at 1 p.m.