EDMONTON – Fourth-year Vanessa Jarman led the No.7 University of Alberta Pandas to a straight-sets victory (25-8, 25-18, 25-18) as well as a weekend series sweep over the University of Calgary Dinos, Saturday night at Saville Community Sports Centre.
The Edmonton native netted a match-high 17 kills and six block assists, also recording three aces. Fourth-year outside hitter Kory White also notched a trio of aces while adding 13 kills and four block assists; third-year setter Elyse Hart earned 43 assists.
Rookie outside hitter Trinity Solecki had a team-high seven kills for the Dinos while fourth-year setter Lexi Peart tallied 17 assists.
Alberta improves to 14-4 on the season and extends their win streak to five. The Pandas also remain in fifth place in the conference standings while Calgary falls to 6-14, currently putting them in tenth place in the standings (top eight teams qualify for the playoffs).
Jarman got the home team rolling with the first two kills of the opening set, Alberta jumping out to a 5-0 lead but it wasn’t long before Jarman tripled her kill total while White scored her trio of aces to push the lead to an incredible 16-2 advantage.
Despite the visitors earning the first point after the media timeout, Jarman combined with Hart for a block to start a 5-1 run and regain the momentum for the hosts.
The Dinos struggled in the opening set, getting only four kills and attacking at a -9.5% clip, so it wasn’t surprising that a Calgary attack error ended the first set, Solecki putting her feet into the Alberta side of the court to end the set by a 25-8 score.
Jarman started the second set much like the first, netting the first two kills, this time propelling the home side to a 9-2 run. Calgary fought back, however, replying with a 9-3 run soon after but they were unable to knot things up on the scoreboard, Jarman coming up with two block assists and a couple of kills to keep the Pandas ahead.
The 6’2” student-athlete even added an assist in the second set, helping Hart record a kill before sophomore middle Marina Culo gave Alberta set point with an attack going long, the Pandas now up 2-0 in the set score.
Jarman finished off her stellar performance with a half-dozen kills in the third and final set, recording four of them in a 9-3 Alberta run that broke the set open before her and White combined for a block into the front of the Calgary side of the court for the penultimate set point, followed by Jarman’s 17th kill of the night going off Kate Pexman and out to claim the victory.
The Pandas head on the road to Saskatoon, Sask. next weekend to face off against the Saskatchewan Huskies while the Dinos head further east to play the Winnipeg Wesmen.
Game notes: Fourth-year outside hitter Kory White earns 18.0 points in the match to move into third all-time in career conference totals in team history, passing Kacey Otto (1,210.0 points; 2012-17). White now has 1,213.0 points from 1,069 kills, 70 aces, 18 block solos, and 112 block assists.