Kajan Thiruthanikasalam (Sports Writer, Colts Athletics)
SCARBOROUGH, ONT.- The Centennial Colts concluded their four game home stand with a four set loss (24-26, 25-22, 25-17, 25-23) to the Georgian Grizzlies at the Athletic and Wellness Centre.
With the loss, the Colts fall to 3-3 while the Grizzlies improve to 5-3 on the season.
Despite beating Georgian in kills (43-31), assists (40-32), and blocks (7-1), Centennial's errors, on the serve and on the attack, were their undoing as the Colts committed nine more errors (19-10) on the attack and had 17 service errors (which was the same for the Grizzlies). Georgian also outpaced Centennial, 40-35, in digs, and 7-4 in service aces.
Centennial was led by Mari Pikkov, who had 13 points on a team high 12 kills, while Elizabeth Chow had 12 points on 12 kills. Pikkov and Lizzie Bowers each had a team high seven digs while Shanelle Woods had a game high three blocks and Heather Sanchez had a game high 35 assists after missing the last two games due to a lower body injury.
For Georgian, they were led by Camryn Morgan and Quinn McGregor, who each scored 11 points on nine kills.
Chow started off the game with a monster kill after a great assist from Sanchez before Georgian scored three in a row. Consecutive kills from Pikkov and Bowers tied the set briefly before Georgian scored four straight points, ending with another kill from Pikkov.
Georgian was up by as many as five (10-5) in the set before Centennial started chipping away at the lead, highlighted by a sequence where Woods blocked two straight kill attempts before finally getting a block and a point on the third kill attempt. A Pikkov kill tied the set at 22 but back to back kills from Alandria Czerkas and Kelsey Watson gave the Grizzlies two chances at set point; however, a service error from Czerkas and a kill from Emily Joe tied the set at 24.
Georgian scored the next two points, off of consecutive Colts errors, to take the first set, 26-24.
Centennial hit consecutive kills (from Woods and Chow) to start the set and they took a 9-6 lead but Georgian scored the next four points to take a 10-9 lead. The Grizzlies were up 12-11 before the Colts racked off five straight points to take a 16-12 lead, highlighted by two aces from Chow.
Georgian tied the set at 17 before Centennial scored four of the next five points, highlighted by a pair of kills from Joe. A kill from Pikkov capped off the set as the Colts won the second set, 25-22.
The Colts scored the first two points of the set via an attack and service from Georgian. It was the only lead of the set they would have as the Grizzlies went on a 14-5 run and went up 14-7 as Centennial head coach Matthew Cheung was forced to call a timeout. The Colts seemed to respond, scoring four straight points, which was capped off by an ace from Joe and cut the lead to, at one point, 16-13.
But the Grizzlies slowly built at their lead from that point on and the set was in favour of Georgian, 25-17, after three straight Colts attack errors ended the set.
The fourth set started unusually as Sanchez hit a kill on her knees as Centennial built an early 7-3 lead. Georgian, however, scored five in a row after that before a kill from Pikkov ended the run. From that point on, both sides attempted to wrestle momentum away from each other but the game remained tied heading into the latter stages of the set (21-21). The trio of Chow, Joe, and Pikkov combined for seven aces in the set.
Woods hit a kill to give the Colts a 22-21 lead but the Grizzlies responded with three straight points, coming off a kill and ace from McGregor and a kill from Sarah Cayouette, leading to two set points. A kill from Taylor Liou brought the lead down to one (24-23) but Pikkov's ensuing serve just went long, giving the Grizzlies the fourth set, 25-23, and the game.
Centennial heads on the road for two games as they play the Canadore Panthers on Sunday Nov. 26 at 12:00 pm.