Despite being decimated by illness, the Dalhousie Tigers managed to get back on the court Wednesday after forfeiting their Tuesday match, and beat UBCO 2-1 (25-20, 26-24, 28-30) in a shortened three-set match on the final day of the Spartans Holiday Classic.
The No. 8 ranked Tigers fought a nearly team-wide illness that hit them Monday evening and were barely able to even put a full unit on the floor for Wednesday’s match, but gutted out a pair of wins over a game bunch from the Okanagan, one who put together a wily third and final set performance.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick start, opening the first set with a 13-3 run, and looked strong in doing so. But the Heat didn’t quit, battling right back with a 9-3 run of their own to close the gap to within just four points. But that was as close as UBCO would get as Dalhousie got the next three points and cruised to a 25-20 win. Dalhousie’s Graeme Higgins led the Tigers with five kills while UBCO’s Adam Schwartz had four kills but was the only Heat player to register more than one kill.
In the second set, UBCO seized momentum early and managed to create a four-point advantage at 7-3 and extend it to a five-point lead at14-9. But then, despite fatigue beginning to set in on the Dalhousie half, the Tigers clawed back and, aided by a pair of Dan Bremner kills, went on a 7-2 run to tie the contest 16-16. After that the teams went back and forth but Dalhousie never trailed again as they won a tight set 26-24 when Sander Ratsep laid down the final kill.
In the third set, Dalhousie went on an 8-0 run in the early stages to stake themselves to an 11-5 lead and then built that to 17-10. That was before UBCO found its spark. Trailing by seven points, the Heat went on an 11-1 run to take a 21-18 lead and, after an extended back and forth contest, managed to win 30-28.
The teams shook hands after three sets.
Nate Speijer lead the way with 15 kills, followed by Adam Schwartz with 12 kills. Preston Tucker had 30 assists.