OAKVILLE, Ont. - The Sheridan Bruins women's volleyball team (9-5, 4-3 OCAA) won the opener but struggled to find consistency over the next three sets - particularly near their conclusion - and dropped a 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-22) decision to Niagara.
"We put together some stretches of really good play today, but also had several runs where we struggled," head coach Scott Hunt said. "Our decision making and skill execution are on a roller coaster ride of good and bad right now. The OCAA West has way too many good teams for us to play inconsistent volleyball and hope to win matches. Niagara is a prime example of that and out-played us today to deserve the win."
It was a back-and-forth opener, with some aggressive serving paving the way to an opening set victory after the Bruins took command midway through. They opened the second with an 8-4 edge and were the first to 20, but this time it was Niagara's tough serving that led to a 7-1 run to close the frame.
In the third, Sheridan show some resiliency to pull level after falling into four-point (17-13) and five-point (21-16) deficits nearing the later stages, but the visitors executed better down the stretch. They did the same in the fourth set to emerge with the 3-1 triumph.
Tara Aune led the attack with 16 points (12 kills, four aces), while Kaitlyn Long (six kills, five blocks), and Tamia Cooper-Evelyn (eight kills, one ace, one block) were both in double figures with 11 and 10 points respectively. Sydney Romans posted a season-high 21 digs, while Rachel Abrahams had 12 and chipped in with nine points.
The Bruins will wrap up the first half of the season with a weekend trip to southwestern Ontario for games against the no. 1 (Fanshawe, Dec. 1) and no. 2 (St. Clair, Dec. 2) teams in the OCAA West, and Hunt is eager to see how his team responds to the adversity.
"We know both Fanshawe and St. Clair are really high quality teams and for us it's important experience," he said. "In order to get where we want to at the end of the season, we're going to have to play tough opponents on back-to-back nights, so this is a really good test for us to see how we handle it."