Women's volleyball headed back to winning ways

First two victories of the year picked up 

After losing their first three games of the year, the women’s volleyball won both games against York and Nipissing.
After losing their first three games of the year, the women’s volleyball won both games against York and Nipissing.

After starting their season with three straight losses, the women’s volleyball team took to the road this weekend for their first taste of victory.

The Gaels (2-3) beat both the Nipissing Lakers (0-3) and York Lions (2-2) in straight sets.

For head coach Michael Ling, it was important for the team to find their footing in the OUA.

“[Knowing] how to win, how to push the buttons of other teams and to follow a game plan … is a huge confidence builder,” Ling said.

Against Nipissing, the team came out flying. 

In the first set, the Gaels outhit the Lakers, with their hitting percentage at 42 per cent compared to the Lakers 14 per cent. After going into a technical timeout at 16-12, the Gaels pulled away, winning 25-19. 

Queen’s continued their dominating play into the second and third frame, winning them 25-18 and 25-21 respectively. 

A huge factor in the win was the Gaels ability to serve aces. They outdid their opponents in this respect 10-5. Ling said that the game against Nipissing showed that the Gaels have bounced back following their three straight losses to start the year.

“Our offence is really starting to minimize its errors,” Ling said. “We are about the same in putting points on the board, but the errors in our first three matches were a little bit too high.”

The next night, the Gaels travelled to Toronto to play York. Continuing their strong play, the Gaels dropped the Lions 25-14 in the first two sets of the game. 

While the Lions equalized the game to 21-21 in the third set, the Gaels offence was too much to handle, winning the final set 25-23.

“Handling Nipissing and York really made the team positive and confident that we do have the capability to win,” Ling said.

On the weekend, outside hitters Shannon Hopkins and Shannon Neville were two stars of the team.

Over the two games Hopkins amassed 26 kills and 20 digs. Neville, not to be outdone, scored 29 digs. Ling said that these two student-athletes’ play had a role inthe team’s victories.

“Both of them are the stabilizers,” Ling said. “They are point generators, they minimize their errors as well. They are defensively sound. They are two of our veterans, leading by example on the court.”

Next up for the Gaels are road games against Windsor and Western. While those sides are loaded with talent, Ling knows his team has to focus on themselves.

“For us, it is about the smaller parts of the game,” Ling said. “We need to focus on winning the five-point sequences, and not stressing out over having to win the entire 25 points.”

“If we can win enough of the small battles, [winning] the sets and matches will follow.”

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