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TMU women's volleyball players celebrate on the court after a point
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Bold vanquish Excalibur, head into Senior Night on four-game win streak

By Keiran Gorsky

The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold women’s volleyball team stretched their win streak to four, fighting off the Trent University Excalibur in four sets at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

Fifth-year Lauren Veltman, the team’s kills leader, was handed an off-day with the playoffs upcoming. The Excalibur held a 2-14 record coming into the night, yet pushed the Bold—who sit fifth in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference—in a contested matchup. 

“It’s not easy when you don’t have your most experienced players around when things are tough,” said TMU head coach Dustin Reid. “But I’m happy with the players in the lineup tonight.” 

The plan for the Bold was quite clear in the first set. Even without Veltman, TMU showed they weren’t lacking in power. 

The Bold were patient and precise with their offence, setting up outside hitters Scarlett Gingera and Marta Cerovic—third and first-years respectively—to lead the way in the opening frame with a combined 9 kills. 

Third-year Bold setter Sarah Zonneveld provided the service with 10 assists in the set for a 25-18 win for the home side.

  • TMU women's volleyball player Scarlett Gingera prepares to jump for a ball
  • TMU women's volleyball player Mary Rioflorido claps while standing on the court
  • TMU women's volleyball screams in celebration of a point and high-fives her teammates
  • TMU women's volleyball player Sarah Zonneveld claps her hand while standing at the MAC

However, the second set was a different story. The Excalibur sparked a turnaround with a boost from second-year middle Elizabeth Turner slamming down three aces, forcing the Bold to call a timeout. 

Turner continued to cause trouble for the home team after the huddle. The Excalibur would go on to win ten points off her service. The TMU attack never seemed to come together the way it had in the first, even as they clawed back a few consolation points in the late stages of the frame.

In the end, it was a commanding 25-16 set win for the Trent side that tied up the match at one apiece. 

“I think we came into the second expecting it to be easy,” Reid said sternly. “We won’t win any playoff games if we play that way.”

TMU responded in the third set with an imposing effort of their own. Zonneveld took a break from the setting to contribute more directly, sending the visitors flying with a slew of well-placed serves. Fourth-year Bold outside hitter Julie Gordon contributed with five consecutive points off the serve. 

“It’s not easy when you don’t have your most experienced players around when things are tough”

Gingera proved why she still sits tenth in kills in the Ontario University Athletics conference, finishing the set with 14 on the night. An Excalibur error brought the Bold to a dominant 25-8 win in the third frame.

“[Gingera’s] such an important player for us,” said Reid. “Not just in her hitting, but her passing and her defensive play.”

The fourth set was tightly contested between both sides. Diving theatrics around the net knotted the match into a tiebreaker as Trent’s Nicole Muzyka and TMU’s fourth-year right side Mikayla Sherriffs found themselves on the floor on consecutive points. 

Gordon emerged as the hero for the Bold late in the decisive set. She racked up four of the home team’s last five points, sealing the deal with a powerful kill off Excalibur third-year outside hitter Ashley Chartier.

“It was really frantic,” fourth-year middle Ashley Ditchfield noted after the game, “I think taking a couple of seconds to come together and play our game helped us.”

UP NEXT: The Bold play their last game of the regular season at the MAC on Saturday in a rematch with Trent. The first serve flies at 4:00 p.m. 

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