The 2011 Martlet Volleyball season was a disappointing one. Despite flashes of brilliance throughout the season, the squad was unable to take advantage of two chances to make the CIS Championship tournament and ended the season with six consecutive losses, finishing with an overall record of 21-22.
The Martlets finished third in the Quebec University Women’s Volleyball League with a 10-10 conference record. Since Laval hosted the CIS Championships, Quebec received three berths rather than the usual two, and only one Quebec team missed out on nationals. McGill’s first chance to qualify came in the conference semifinal series against the second-seeded Montreal Carabins. McGill lost the best of three series in two games, but still had a chance to qualify for nationals by defeating the last-place Sherbrooke Vert-et-Or for third place. In the regular season, McGill had a perfect 4-0 record against Sherbrooke and entered the series as heavy favourites. Despite their regular season success, the Martlets were swept, losing both games in five sets.
While the season came to a disappointing finish, there were still many positive performances. Fifth-year Kelsey Irwin earned a spot on the all-Canadian second-team and first QUVL all-star team. Irwin was second in Quebec with 4.16 points and 3.37 kills per game, fourth in province with 0.87 blocks per game and sixth in hitting percentage (.260). Sophomore Daphnée-Maude André-Morin was named libero of the year in Quebec. She missed four games during the season but still finished first in the conference with 247 total digs and 4.05 digs per game. Finally, Marcela Mansure earned a spot on the second Quebec all-star team after she led the league with 708 assists.
2011 should prove to be a learning experience for the Martlets. They’re a young squad that should be much improved next season as they look to learn from their mistakes and qualify for the CIS Championship in 2012.
MVP: Kelsey Irwin
Player to Watch: Daphnée-Maude André-Morin