Saints Women Volleyball to Play for Bronze Medal Today
The St. Clair College women’s volleyball team will play for Bronze today at the 2018 belairdirect OCAA Championship being hosted by Centennial College in Scarborough after falling to the Humber College Hawks in an intense semi final match on Friday night.
St. Clair made a statement in its quarterfinal match, beating the host Centennial Colts in four sets (25-21, 25-17, 24-26, 26-24) as they hit 18 aces, nine of them coming from Kimberley Quintanilla, who also led the team with 21 assists and 13 points.
For Humber, they had to survive a huge scare from the Mohawk Mountaineers as they were four points away from being eliminated in straight sets and having their 125 game winning streak snapped. The Hawks, however, scored five unanswered to take the third set and eventually came all the way back from down two sets to beat the Mountaineers in five sets (23-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-14, 15-9).
This game marked the first in the second day of action that it did not end in straight sets. It wouldn’t be any more different, however, as Humber prevailed over St. Clair in four sets (25-19, 18-25, 25-16, 25-23) at the Athletic and Wellness Centre, where it was jammed with Hawks and Saints supporters. The Hawks had the edge over the Saints in kills (38-28), assists (32-27), and aces (10-9) while St. Clair had the advantage in digs (42-36). Nicole Collard was named Player of the Game for Humber after scoring 13 points on a team high five aces and game high three blocks. Breanna Golding led all scorers with 14 points on a game high 12 kills.
Julie Ann Milling finished with a game high 17 digs and was named Player of the Game for the Saints. Taylor Fitzgerald led St. Clair with 11 points on a game high six aces while Kimberley Quintanilla dished out a game high 23 assists.
Service errors were the story of the first set as there were a combined 13 of them from both teams. St. Clair held a 16-14 lead when Collard’s service game sparked Humber to seven straight points as she got three aces during that run. A kill from Jasmine Lougheed capped off four straight points from Humber as they took the first set, 25-19. The Hawks took an early 5-2 lead but St. Clair came back to tie the second set at eight and took the lead for good after a kill from Fitzgerald.
After a kill from Brynne Spence-Coleman cut the Saints lead to 19-17, St. Clair ended the set on a 6-1 run to tie the match and take the second set, 25-18, after a kill from Quintanilla. Both teams split the first six points of the third set before Humber blew the set open on a 19-8 run. Golding and Spence-Coleman each had three kills during the set as Humber took the third set, 25-16. The Hawks looked to put away the Saints away early in the fourth set as they went on an 8-4 start, forcing a St. Clair timeout. But the pesky Saints would not go down quietly as they came roaring back to take an 18-17 lead after a kill from Te-Anna Stephenson.
Golding, Spence-Coleman and Stephenson each had four kills during this set alone. A block from Collard gave the Hawks two chances at match point and after a kill from Stephenson, ended the fourth set and the match at 25-23 as Quintanilla hit the net on her serve.
The Saints took the first two sets by scores of 25-21 and 25-17. The Colts rebounded to take set three by a score of 26-24. St. Clair narrowly escaped with the win by coming back to take the 4th set 26-24 to put Centennial away. Taylor Fitzgerald (Windsor) led the way offensively with 10 kills, 2 service aces and 9 digs. Setter Kim Quintanilla (Windsor) also had a solid match with 10 service aces, 1 kill and 13 digs. The St. Clair women are currently ranked 3rd in Ontario. Humber went 18-0 in the regular season finishing 1st in the West Division. The Hawks are ranked 1st in Ontario and 3rd in Canada.
With the tough loss the Saints will now play for OCAA Bronze on Saturday at 2 pm. St. Clair will be facing the Sheridan Bruins who were defeated the Niagara Knights by a score of 3-0 in the other semi final. The Bruins finished in 4th place in the OCAA West Division with a record of 11-7. Sheridan has been hot winning 10 of their last 14 matches. The Bruins are ranked 6th in Ontario. St. Clair has defeated Sheridan twice during regular season play. The Saints will be attempting to win their first OCAA medal since 1997.