The second match of day one at the OCAA Women’s Volleyball Championships at Trent University resulted in an upset with fourth place in the West Redeemer Royals defeating first-seed in the East Durham Lords in four sets. The Lady Royals defeated Durham 3-1 as the underdog knocked out the East Division Champions.
In one of the biggest and most shocking defeats for the women’s volleyball Royals in OCAA Championship history, Redeemer kept their hot streak going with their 4th win in a row, dropping only 2 sets along the way.
The games featured impressive offensive and defensive plays from both teams. After a tough first set that Redeemer took 25-11, Durham took the second set 25-20 but Redeemer came back to take the third and fourth sets 25-18 and 25-23 on their way to victory.
The first set began with Redeemer taking an impressive 7-0 lead. Redeemer continued to push the pace offensively with Curtiss Straatsma (Brampton, ON) leading the way. Durham tried to get themselves back in the match with some solid defensive plays but the offensive strength displayed by Redeemer proved to be too much as the Royals took the first set 25-11.
Durham looked to improve their play from the first set getting off to a quick lead in the second set. Both teams were evenly matched as they went point for point throughout the set with Leah Saar (Pickering, ON) providing some solid offense for the Lords. Redeemer tied the set at 15-15 with an ace by Straatsma but could not keep the Durham squad down as the Lords pushed forward to a 25-20 set Victory evening up the Match at 1-1.
The third set looked similar the first as the Royals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. Straatsma gained momentum for the Redeemer squad with a monster kill on an overpass from Durham. Durham shook off the slow start and got the score back up to 5-6 before Redeemer pulled away again with a six point run. Redeemer continued their consistent play for the remainder of the set as they rolled on to a 25-18 Victory and a 2-1 Match lead.
The fourth set began with Redeemer pushing the pace as they got off to an early 7-3 lead. Durham rallied back and took their first lead of the set at 10-9. Despite a great effort by Durham to hold onto the lead, the Royals were able to get ahead late in the set as they took the victory 25-23 in a close back and forth set and the match 3-1.
Redeemer Head Coach Doug Veldman thought the team executed the game plan to perfection. “We showed a lot of character”, said Veldman. “We had a game plan going in and we stuck to it. I think we served very aggressively and were able to put Durham out of system. That’s how we scored a lot of our points. The tough serving led to our ability to block well at the net.”
The Player of the Game for Redeemer was Curtiss Straatsma with 29 points (19 Kills, 2 Service Aces, 8 Blocks) and 14 digs. Again, Straatsma was unstoppable offensively, but she also was fantastic defensively as she passed well, had 14 digs and dominated at the net with 8 blocks. However, it was a total team effort as the Royals served one of their best games of the season and showed their commitment to defense throughout.
Leah Saar took the Player of the Game honours for Durham with 8 points (6 Kills, 1 Service Aces, 1 Block) and 11 digs.
The road unfortunately does not get any easier for Redeemer. The next game for the Royals will be on Friday at 6pm against the Nipissing Lakers. The next match for the Durham Lords will be Friday at 1pm versus the Georgian Grizzlies.