OAKVILLE, Ont. - They had to fend off a shaky phase late in the second set, but the Sheridan Bruins women's volleyball team (19-9, 12-7 OCAA) advanced to the OCAA quarter-final after a 3-1 win over Seneca.
"I thought we played fairly well considering it was the first playoff match for most of our team," head coach Scott Hunt said. "We had some moments in the second set where we let our nerves get to us, but overall we played a pretty clean match."
Leading 10-8 early in the first set, the Double Blue put together a 10-4 run on their way to a 25-17 first set win.
The Bruins were on the verge of winning the second set as well - up 24-23 - but the combination of a Sheridan service error and Seneca ace swung momentum towards the visitors, who got on the board 28-26.
Buoyed by their comeback late in the second frame, Seneca jumped out to a 5-1, but Sheridan was able to wrestle control back late in the set, turning a 17-14 lead into a 25-20 win.
A trio of three consecutive blocks by Shi-Ann Williams early in the fourth gave the Double Blue a 6-1 lead, and they wouldn't look back after a 25-9 win.
Taylor Ley led the Bruins with 18 points (16 kills, one ace, one block) and was joined in double figure scoring by Tara Aune (12 kills, three aces, two blocks), and Tamia Cooper-Evelyn (10 kills, three aces, one block).
Williams - who came on as a third set substitute and helped to turned momentum back in favour of the home side - finished with eight points (five blocks, two kills, one ace).
The club will advance to the OCAA Championship at Centennial and will draw a quarter-final match-up against the East Division champions from Loyalist (16-2).
Sheridan and Loyalist played last month on the final day of a tournament hosted by Durham, with the Bruins dropping a 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 25-20, 13-25, 15-13) decision.
Hunt says that experience, combined with improved play over the season's second half, has the team feeling good heading into the match-up.
"We're gonna try to clean up some stuff that we weren't very good at today, and then we're gonna gameplan for a couple hitters that are fairly physical," he said. "I like our chances if we can clean up our game, I think we'll have a pretty good shot."