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Volleyball 'Canes win ACAA women's Championship

History was made on Sunday in Sackville, New Brunswick when the women’s volleyball Hurricanes defeated the host, Mount Allison University Mounties, in four-sets to win the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) championship for the first time in team history.  The men’s team, also in the finals, were unable to repeat their championship win from a year ago, falling in straight-sets to the St. Thomas University (STU) Tommies in the conference championship game.

The women’s Hurricanes will now represent the ACAA at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championship in Quebec City, March 11-14.  On the men’s side, with the Tommies hosting the national championship in Fredericton, NB, the Hurricanes have also qualified for the championship.

In the women’s championship game on Sunday, the ‘Canes defeated the Mounties by set scores of 18-25, 25-22, 25-23 and 26-24.

Abby Hyndman led the offensive effort for the Hurricanes with 18 kills with Sam Gerbig adding ten. Zayley Murphy recorded five kills with Kateia Barenaba adding four in the win.

Marissa Macaulay had a match-high 28 assists to go along with three kills, one ace, and 15 digs.

Murphy led the defensive effort with 17 digs while Dana Trainor added 14 digs and eight assists, and Gerbig added 11 digs and two aces.

Macaulay, the 2020 ACAA Player of the Year, was the player of the game in the championship match for the ‘Canes.

This was the first ACAA championship in 11 tries for the women’s volleyball Hurricanes who were formed in 2009; they have lost in the championship match in four of the last five seasons. 

“I’m incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished and how much hard work we’ve put in this season,” shared Macaulay, a third-year setter from Truro, Nova Scotia in her first season with the ‘Canes.

“There’s no better feeling than coming out on top with a 20-0 record this season; I’m very thankful for my coaches and teammates.”

After an 18-0 regular season, the ‘Canes used a four-set semi-final win on Saturday over the University of King’s College (UKC) Blue Devils to qualify for the championship game; set scores were 25-18, 20-25, 25-19 and 25-17.

Dana Trainor, in her fifth and final year with the Hurricanes, reflects on her collegiate career and how it feels to end it with a conference championship.

“Thanks to Holland College we’ve been provided with endless opportunities.  My teammates never stop fighting no matter what gets thrown at us, what a surreal experience.”

The ‘Canes will join Cégep Garneau (hosts and RSEQ champions), Vancouver Island University (PACWEST champions), Briercrest College (ACAC champion), Fanshawe College (OCAA champions), Camosun College (PACWEST wildcard), Red Deer College (ACAC wildcard) and Cégep Edouard Montpetit (RSEQ runner-up) at the CCAA National Championships.

First-year head coach, Jon Macdonald, was happy with how the Hurricanes handled themselves in a hostile environment during Sunday’s championship match.

“I’m obviously very happy with the result.  I think our team executed our game plan very well.  I’m very proud of everyone on our team and how hard we’ve worked all year.  I couldn’t be happier for our group, now we adjust our focus to nationals.”

Second-year right-side from Charlottetown, PEI, Abby Hyndman, echoes the positive thoughts and feelings of her teammates and coaches.

“I’m so proud of our team and our accomplishments this season.  It’s an amazing feeling when all of your hard work pays off.  I can’t wait to compete at nationals with this fantastic group of girls and our amazing coaching staff.”

On the men’s side, the ‘Canes dropped the championship final to the STU Tommies by set scores of 25-21, 25-21 and 25-19.

Simon Archibald led the attack for the Hurricanes with 11 kills with Nick Blewett and Cole Mackey adding six and five respectively.

Brandon Hastings had 23 assists while Mackey led a balanced defensive effort with six digs. Alex Joudrey added five digs with Archibald recording four.

Nathan Willis had all five of the ‘Canes services aces in the loss.

Player of the game for the ‘Canes was Brandon Hastings.

After a slow start to the season where the ‘Canes went 2-7, they turned things around with five wins in their final six regular season games to secure the second seed in the conference.  They then punched their ticket to the conference championship match when they defeated the University of New Brunswick-Saint John (UNBSJ) Seawolves on Saturday in the semi-finals by set scores of 25-16, 20-25, 23-25, 25-18 and 15-8.

In Fredericton, NB, the Hurricanes will join the host, STU Tommies as the two ACAA representatives at the national championships.  Completing the eight-team field is Capilano University (PACWEST champions), Humber College (OCAA champions), Red Deer College (ACAC champions), Cégep Sherbrooke (RSEQ champions), Durham College (OCAA wildcard) and Lethbridge College (ACAC wildcard).

For more information on the 2020 ACAA Championships, visit www.acaa.ca.

For information on the 2020 CCAA National Volleyball Championships in Québec City and Fredericton, visit www.ccaa.ca.

Connect with the volleyball Hurricanes at www.twitter.com/caneswvball and www.twitter.com/canesmvball.

For more information on the Holland Hurricanes, please visit www.hollandhurricanes.com, www.facebook.com/hollandhurricanes, www.twitter.com/hc_hurricanes and www.instagram.com/hollandhurricanes

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For more information about this release, please contact:
Daniel Cudmore, Athletics Development and Communications Coordinator
Tel: (902) 894-6870
Date: Monday, March 02, 2020