TMU wins in straight sets against Guelph Gryphons

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By Sam Beaudoin

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold women’s volleyball team cruised to victory on Friday night, taking down the University of Guelph Gryphons in a dominant straight sets victory at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

The two teams entered tied with three wins in the young season, with the Gryphons having suffered an extra loss, placing them one spot below TMU in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) standings. 

“I think we’re all surprised we’re not out there still playing,” said TMU head coach Dustin Reid. “We didn’t sit back and wait for the team to make mistakes. When you’re up on your opponent, put pressure on them and get out of there with a 3-0 win.”

The Bold started off the match firing on all cylinders, executing flawlessly and jumping out to an early 14-8 lead, guided by a handful of perfectly placed dumps from setter Sarah Zonneveld and outside hitter Julie Moore’s match high 12 kills. 

The Gryphons cooled the Bold’s momentum with a timeout at the midway mark of the set, propelling Guelph to make a slight run to make things interesting. 

“There were moments where Guelph was being really consistent with their game and raising their game,” said Reid. “In those moments we really executed consistently for two-three minute spans and got the separation back.”

Guelph was able to bring the set within four points multiple times, but the Bold were able to maintain their advantage with dominant attacks from middle Ashley Ditchfield and Moore to win the set 25-18.

Both teams came out swinging to start the second, with the first five points being won on kills. The Gryphons were able to bounce back from their slow start and keep pace with the Bold in the set with both teams exchanging points.

“You may look at the scores and think it was pretty lopsided, but in the middle of the second set it could’ve gone either way,” said Reid. “You can’t beat Guelph if you make mistakes, and we made very few errors.”

Outside hitter Scarlett Gingera took over in the set, dominating Guelph at the net and taking control in the late stages to propel TMU to a consecutive 25-18 set victory. 

“We have a couple new really good players that have helped us a lot,” said Gingera. “I think that’s brought our team’s confidence up.”

The second-year recorded six of her nine kills in the set.

Zonneveld continued to impress in the second set, laying out for multiple balls and registering a handful of her match-high 37 assists to the likes of Moore and Ditchfield. 

“Winning in three just feels like we proved to them that we were ready and we knew what we were doing,” said Zonneveld. “It feels quite nice.”

The Bold didn’t take their foot off the gas in the final set, building their lead up to nearly double digits as the set neared a close. 

TMU’s dominance was in large part due to Zonneveld’s ability to effectively fool Guelph and mix up her sets. Third year middle Britney Veltman and outside hitter Mikayla Sherriffs were among the beneficiaries, each coming up with massive kills to help the Bold cruise to a 25-17 final set victory.

“It definitely brings our confidence up a lot,” said Gingera. “The fact that we won in three shows our team what we can actually do and it’s something to be excited about.”

The Bold reach the .500 mark for the first time this season, now 4-4, and will look to keep the momentum going into Saturday night in a rematch between both squads. 

It will be the third time this season the Bold take on an opponent on back to back days, with the first two times resulting in TMU losses. 

“We’ve been in this situation twice…in both of those our opponents made some good adjustments,” said Reid. “I think that will be one of our discussions, how can we find a way to play as well or better tomorrow.” 

UP NEXT: TMU and Guelph battle again on Saturday night. First serve flies at 6 p.m.

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