Lost opportunity

John
John Browne
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Memorial women lose twice to St. FX, leaving them in a must-win situation at P.E.I.

The St. Francis Xavier X-Women handed the Memorial University Sea-Hawks a setback in the Sea-Hawks' drive for a playoff spot in Atlantic universities women's volleyball during the weekend at the Field House.

The X-Women defeated Memorial twice by 3-1 scores. The losses dropped the Sea-Hawks to 4-10 on the season and left Memorial and St. FX tied for sixth place with eight points each.

Sarah Strickland of The Memorial Sea-Hawks returns a shot during AUS womens volleyball action against the St. Francis Xavier X-Women at the Memorial Field House Sunday. Looking on is the Sea-Hawks Beth Forsey. Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

The St. Francis Xavier X-Women handed the Memorial University Sea-Hawks a setback in the Sea-Hawks' drive for a playoff spot in Atlantic universities women's volleyball during the weekend at the Field House.

The X-Women defeated Memorial twice by 3-1 scores. The losses dropped the Sea-Hawks to 4-10 on the season and left Memorial and St. FX tied for sixth place with eight points each.

"I'm frustrated with the way the girls performed this weekend," said MUN coach Melissa Oates. "I don't think they played up to their full potential. At any time, only two or three of the girls played the way they should have played."

Oates said her team passed up an opportunity to gain ground in the standings against a team she felt confident they should have beaten.

"We trained hard, but the players didn't go out on the court with the desire and the gumption you need at home in front of fans. I don't think they played in the moment... I really don't," said Oates.

Oates also noted the starting lineup was disrupted with the loss of rookie left side Shakila Balkhi of Simi Valley, Calif., who did not play for family reasons and won't be available to the team for the rest of the season.

Sunday's game scores were 25-21, 25-22, 23-25 and 25-21 in favour of St. Francis, which went 25-21, 21-25, 25-23 and 25-20 on Saturday.

Rookie Katherine Ryan led St. Francis with 21 points and had 21 kills and 23 digs. Sasha Wilkins led the Sea-Hawks, scoring 22 points (18 kills, two aces, 21 digs and four blocks).

On Saturday, Ryan scored 16 points and added 15 kills, two blocks and 13 digs). The Sea-Hawks were led by Wilkins (16 points, 16 kills and 18 digs) and Samantha March (13 points (11 kills, an ace and 8 digs).

Memorial travels to the University of Prince Edward Island next weekend to take on the Panthers (1-12) in "must-win" matches.

"We have to put together some good volleyball and we have to play to our full potential," said Oates.

"We are more than capable of stepping up, but they are a young squad and we made a lot of rookie mistakes this weeeknd. We'd fight our way back into a rally and they'd we make an unforced error either in blocking, serving or attacking."

In men's AUS volleyball play over the weekend, the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds defeated Memorial twice by 3-0 scores. UNB beat MUN 25-12, 25-19, 25-16 Sunday and 25-15, 25-15, 25-21 Saturday.

Adam Gilbert led Memorial with 20 kills over the two games.

The losses dropped MUN to 0-10 on the season. The Sea-Hawks play inter-locking matches against McGill, Montreal and Sherbrooke next weekend in Quebec.

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Sea-Hawks, Field House, University of Prince Edward Island Panthers University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds

Geographic location: Simi Valley, Montreal, Sherbrooke Quebec

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