The University of Toronto women’s volleyball team struggled late but finally found its way back on path.
After taking the first two sets (25-23, 25-18) against Western, the Varsity Blues had difficulty keeping momentum as the lady Mustangs controlled the next two to force a fifth and deciding set.
Down 11-7 in the final set, and looking like they may never find their path again in this match, the Blues got back on track.
The Varsity Blues stormed back, thanks to third-year player Sarah Chapin, who helped serve the team into a tie, before a block by Shannon Rossall completed the improbable comeback (25-23, 25-18, 24-26, 22-25, 15-12).
“Even though we struggled and we got down … I think we demonstrated tremendous character to be able to come out and take it,” said Toronto head coach Kristine Drakich, after the game.
Although it was a tough come-from-behind victory for the Varsity Blues, it really shouldn’t have been.
U. of T. stormed out to a quick two-set lead and looked to be in full control of the game and ready to put the match to bed.
However, the Varsity Blues struggled in the third and fourth set, as Western completely controlled the game. Every time Toronto got close, or tied the game, the Mustangs went on a streak to put the game back out of reach.
In the fifth set however, a timeout by Toronto’s Drakich finally got the girls straight again.
“I just tried to make sure we were back on path, that this was just a blip, and there’s lots of game left,” said the veteran coach. in her 24th season with the Varsity Blues.
And it worked to give U. of T. its first victory of the season.
“We came together at the perfect moment … and we came away with a win,” said Chapin, who was stellar in the victory, recording nine kills, five blocks, and two serving aces.
“Sarah played great. Outstanding. She had two attack errors and she had nine kills, almost 80 percent on attacking efficiency. And her serving … when she got it (in the fifth set when we were down late) was outstanding,” said Drakich
Western’s Rebecca Oxland had a match-high 19 kills in the loss for the Mustangs (1-2).
With the victory the Varsity Blues move up to .500 (1-1) on the season, after a disappointing loss to Ryerson last weekend.
Toronto returns to their home court tomorrow to face off versus Brock at 6 ET.