Dalhousie Tigers coach Rick Scott had a successful debut in Brandon as a Canadian Interuniversity Sport head coach on Thursday.
The Souris native and his Tigers women’s volleyball team came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Guelph Gryphons 3-2 (25-20, 24-26, 21-25, 25-19, 15-9) to open up the Brandon Bobcats’ Conferences of Canada Challenge last night at the BU gymnasium.
"It’s awesome to be back in Brandon and coaching at the CIS level," said Scott, who is in his fourth season at Dalhousie. "This is my first time coaching back here with Dal, so it’s special.
"I’m really happy for this team to be at this tournament and to see all the different teams who are great competition and that’s how we’re going to get better."
Louise Facca dominated the match for Dalhousie with 22 kills. Kirstie Shepherd had 12 kills and 12 blocks. Brooke Lloyd and Erinn Bickle both had 12 kills for Guelph.
Both coaches felt the match was sloppy as it was the first for both teams since they went on their Christmas breaks, but the Tigers dominated the final two sets. Scott felt his team just got better as the match went on.
"I thought we made a few mistakes in the serve receive area," he said.
"We had a few hitting errors in the second set when we were up but give Guelph credit, they’re a good team and played hard. We were a little more steady and consistent and managed the ball a little bit better in the last two sets."
Scott, who taught in Glenboro for five years, enjoyed the chance to showcase the quality of volleyball from other areas of Canada in Brandon. He also believes the tournament will just get tougher at it goes on.
"I think a lot of people will find out there are a lot of good teams across the country, so if you don’t play well there’s a good chance you’re not going to win, it’s great to see," Scott said. "McGill and Brandon are very good teams. It doesn’t get any easier and we’re looking forward for the chance to play them."
The Tigers will get their chance today. They face the Martlets at noon and the Bobcats at 7:45 p.m., to close out the round robin.
BU WOMEN DUMPED:
The host Brandon Bobcats showed a little inexperience in their late marathon match against the McGill Martlets last night.
Bobcats head coach Lee Carter came into the tournament wanting to give some of his bench players more time on the court and that’s exactly what he did.
First-year left side Shanlee McLennan played in every set in Brandon’s 3-2 (25-27, 25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 15-8) loss to McGill. Brianna Walsh, Claire Willerton and Jenna Poole also saw considerable court time, and Carter felt they played well last night.
"I was happy," he said. "For first year kids, they did well. I thought Shanlee held her own and understands when she needs to terminate the ball and opportunities to keep it in play and put them in trouble. Brianna improved a ton and did a great job."
McLennan and Meaghan Robertson led the Bobcats with nine kills each. Genevieve Plante led the Martlets with 18 kills. Kaiva Mateus had 15.
Brandon will continue the tournament against Guelph at 10 a.m., while McGill and Guelph will meet at 6 p.m. The bronze (noon) and gold medal matches (2 p.m.) are scheduled for Saturday at the BU gym.
BOBCATS IN FINAL:
In Winnipeg at the Wesmen Classic, Emerick Ravier scored 14 points and Michael Smith scored 13 as the Bobcats men’s basketball team beat the UBC-Okanagan Heat 69-40 in the semifinals on Thursday night.
The Bobcats will meet North Dakota’s Valley City State Vikings in the championship final tonight at 8 o’clock.