(WOLFVILLE, NS) The Acadia Axewomen scored a 3-0 win over the UNB REDS Friday night to open the 2022-23 Atlantic University Sport season.
Acadia won with scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 36-34.
"We didn't give ourselves a chance in the first two sets," said REDS head coach Richard Schick. "We had our chances in the third, battling back and we had opportunities to step up, but we weren't able to at meaningful times."
Taylor Witty (Dartmouth, N.S.) picked up the Subway Player of the Game honours with a team-high 13 kills and an astounding 0.407 hitting percentage in the win.
"We really wanted to finish strong and pull out a big win," said Witty. "It was a close one and it was really fun."
Out to an early 9-5 lead, the Axewomen pushed the first set score to 21-12 before the REDS woke up. Kills by Heather Benko (Sechelt, BC) and Bailey Lemieux (Fredericton, NB), an Acadia ball-handing error, two attack errors, and a service ace by Paige Lehto (North Vancouver, BC) closed the gap to 23-17.
Eventually, Jenna Lake's (Conception Bay South, NL) kill closed out the set at 25-19
In the second set, once again, the Axewomen pulled out into an early lead.
Kills by Witty and Lake settled the lead at 13-8. With a two-point margin, 16-14, at the technical timeout, Acadia regrouped and pushed the lead to 19-15. A UNB service error would end the second game at 25-22.
Acadia delivered a 12-4 advantage in the third set, but the REDS would claw their way back from the eight-point deficit.
From that point, it was anyone's guess on who would walk away with a set that wouldn't end. Kills by Witty and Wesley-Ann Bailey (Ottawa, Ont.) would end the marathon set at 36-34 for Acadia's 3-0 win.
"We definitely got outplayed and outcoached," said Schick. "Acadia played very well."
"It was a great atmosphere for our young team to play in," he added. "We'll get back at it tomorrow."
Lemieux, Benko and Vaags led the REDS in kills with six each.
Both teams will return action Saturday in a rematch that begins at 2:00pm.
RECAP BY: Eric Cederberg/Acadia Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Peter Oleskevich/for Acadia Athletics