(London, Ontario) – The #5 CCAA ranked Fanshawe Women's Volleyball squad (13-0) defeated the #11 nationally ranked St. Clair Saints (11-2) three sets to one on Wednesday evening in front of an excited large home crowd. The match was in support of mental health awareness, with #BellLetsTalk thunder sticks and informative materials being handed out at the front gate.
In a battle between two of the best teams in the country, Fanshawe and St. Clair traded points to open the set. Back-to-back blocks from Danielle Grasman (Komoka, ON) midway through the set gave the Falcons momentum, taking a 17-12 lead. The red and white would expand that margin slightly to take the first set 25-17.
Fanshawe continued where they left off in the second set, taking an early 8-4 lead. A massive left side kill from Janelle Albert (Brampton, ON) got the Glenn Johnston Athletic Centre fans on their feet. Albert struck again with a back row attack to extend the Falcons lead to 19-13. A well-placed service ace by Meghan Morelli (London, ON) sealed the deal for Fanshawe in set two as the Birds won by a score of 25-16.
St. Clair started strong in the third set with two straight points. Another strong kill from Albert tied the set at four, but the Saints would go on a 5-0 run and retake the lead. The Falcons found themselves down but made a push at a comeback with a kill from Ainsley Acton (Lucan, ON). A huge block from Tarea Heshka (Erin, ON) reduced St. Clair's advantage to one at 18-17. Unfortunately, the Saints would hang on for a 25-21 third set victory.
The teams exchanged points in the fourth set, with the Falcons getting offense from Grasman and Jacqueline Coulter (Calgary, AB). Albert showed why she was named an OCAA Star of the Week last week with two powerful kills. With the Falcons holding a slim 24-23 lead in the set, Grasman had a great dig to keep the ball in play and Albert would close the match with a tip to take the 25-23 win. The top performers for Fanshawe were Albert, Morelli and Grasman, who had 19, 11 and 10 points respectively.
The next home match for Fanshawe will be on Saturday, January 26 at 1pm against Niagara. The game will be a part of Fanshawe Athletics annual Falcons Fest event, a quad-header with free food and Falcons swag for fans while supplies last.