GRANDE PRAIRIE, AL – The No. 3 Humber Hawks women's volleyball team, playing a consistently solid game throughout, were outdistanced by the No. 1 Douglas Royals in the CCAA National Championship semi-finals on Friday night, losing the game in four sets (26-24, 16-25, 23-25, 23-25).
After opening the game with a Breanna Golding serving ace, the Hawks fell behind early as the Royals started strong, taking a quick 7-3 lead. Not to be outdone, the Hawks struck back hard, erasing the deficit and tying the game at nine each before taking the lead off a huge Brynne Spence-Coleman kill. Fighting to stay ahead, the Hawks would cough up the lead late as the Royals strung together two three-point rallies to go up 19-16. With the Royals two points away from winning the set, the Hawks scored four straight on Kerissa Woolley's serving to steal back the lead, hanging on to take the first by a score of 26-24.
The Hawks began the second set trading points with the Royals before six straight Royals points put the Hawks in an early hole. Though the Hawks would try to come back, keeping the Royals from putting together any other huge rallies, they could not build any rallies of their own, only scoring two points off their own serving all set. Unable to gain any ground, the Hawks would fall to the Royals in the second 25-16, tying the game at one set apiece.
The third set seemed to start as a mirror of the second, with both teams swapping points early. With solid serving from Jasmine Lougheed, and spectacular kills from Spence-Coleman and Devan O'Connor, however, the Hawks scored four straight points to gave themselves a solid early lead. The Royals, chipping away at their deficit, used a four-point rally of their own to tie the set 15-15. Falling behind by two after another Royals rally, the Hawks attempted a comeback, but could not regain the lead, dropping the third set 25-23.
Every attempt to build a significant lead by one team in the first half of the fourth was immediately answered by the other. After three straight points gave the Hawks the lead, the Royals scored four of their own to put themselves in front. The Hawks remained on the Royals' heels, keeping the scoreboard tight before a Golding kill tied the set at 20 apiece. The Royals, hitting back hard, stole the lead again with three straight points, and soon led Humber 24-21. With no room left for error, the Hawks came within one point of tying the set before a Royals kill ended the match, with the Hawks losing the set 25-23 and falling to the Royals in four.
Golding was named the Player of the Game for the Hawks, leading the team in scoring with 21 points (19 kills, one serving ace, one block).
Spence-Coleman had 16 points (13 kills, one serving ace, two blocks), Nicole Collard had 15 (12 kills, three blocks) and Lougheed had 13 (ten kills, three blocks). Kyla Wilkins led the Hawks in digs, with 22.
Vania Silva dos Santos de Oliveira, the Player of the Game for the Royals, finished leading her team with 24 points (20 kills, one serving ace, three blocks). Caet McCorkell was second on the Royals with 14 points (11 kills, three blocks).
The Hawks, falling out of gold medal contention, will now play the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics in a bronze semi-final matchup, scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. MST (2:00 p.m. EST). A win in that game will give them a shot at the national bronze medal, a game which would begin at 6:00 p.m. MST (8:00 p.m. EST).