The Memorial Sea-Hawks women’s volleyball team finishes up its regular-season schedule this weekend as it takes on the Acadian Axewomen in Atlantic University Sport (AUS play in Wolfville, N.S.
Both the Sea-Hawks (8-9) and Axewomen (11-5) have already clinched berths in the AUS championship tournament early next month in St. John’s, so their three meetings this weekend — beginning tonight — provide an opportunity to build up confidence for the conference finals. That could be of particular importance for Memorial, which is now in line to face the first-place Dalhousie Tigers (15-1) in the semifinal round next month.
Memorial and Acadia have met twice this season, with the Sea-Hawks prevailing 3-2 in pre-season play in October and the Axewomen claiming a 3-1 decision at the AUS midseason tourney at Moncton, N.B., in November
The teams are close in almost all the important statistical categories, while the Axewomen sit in second place in the overall standings. The Sea-Hawks have shown they can play with everyone in the AUS, but have lacked consistency this season.
Memorial has a number of players who enter the weekend among the conference’s top statistical performers.
Rookie Emma Hackett is fourth in kills (153), while Kierstin Fey is fourth in kills (3.04) and points (3.6) per set. Lauren Fenez sits second in digs (242) and Alison Poynter is tied for third in aces (29) and second in assist (531), just two off the conference lead.
Memorial has a 17-member team at the Atlantic University Sport swimming championships beginning today in Saint John, N.B.
A release from Memorial Athletics noted the Sea-Hawks had a strong showing at the Dalhousie Invitational in Halifax last month and hope to translate that into medals at the conference championships this weekend. It suggested Jasmine Foran (Bathurst, N.B.) and Veronica Reid (Williams Lake, B.C.) are among the top medal hopes in the women’s division, with fifth-year swimmer Sam Leawood (Mount Pearl) leading the men’s side.
Other members of the team include Jessica Dyson (Gander), Emily Ford (St. John’s), Vanessa Legge (Mount Pearl), Laura Pittman (St. John’s), Alison Somers (Carbonear), Ryan George (Deer Lake), Curtis McKay (St. John’s), Matthew Rose (Conception Bay South), Logan Slade (St. John’s), Daniel Sparkes (Corner Brook), Nicholas Sparkes (Corner Brook), Ronald Sutherland (Quispamsis, N.B.), Evan Tynski (Summerside, P.E.I.) and Youssef Zaazou (St. John’s).
The coaches are Duffy Earle and Chris Roberts.
Preliminary swims begin this morning, with the first finals this evening. The event is being streamed live on AUStv.ca.
The event is being hosted by the University of New Brunswick, which is located in Fredericton but has a satellite campus in Saint John.